The gathering this week of all the ministers in Cumbria for 24 hours (including some of our ecumenical colleagues from the Methodist Church and Church of Scotland) took place in the Windermere Centre – where we were looked after wonderfully by the staff. The ministers encouraged me to take a “selfie” – not something I normally do and at which I am not very proficient. Six attempts later produced a picture almost in focus and without anyone appearing to be decapitated! This snapshot is the result. Unfortunately, the keynote speaker and facilitator for our sessions had already had to rush to catch a train – so the Revd Nicola Furley-Smith (Moderator of Southern Synod) is not in the picture.
Our sessions focused on the conversations which have been taking place between the URC and the Anglicans. The Revd Nicola Furley-Smith has been the URC Co-Chair of these “Church of England - United Reformed Church Informal Conversations” with the Rt Revd James Newcome (Bishop of Carlisle) as the other co-chair. In view of the ecumenical project underway within Cumbria the sessions produced lively discussion around a topic which is a “live” issue for every URC in Cumbria.
Please pray for
- the continuing development of conversations between the URC and the Anglicans, especially around the issue of sharing ministries
- the continued work within Cumbria to provide a model for the whole of the UK of the way in which our denominations can work together in a way which makes a significant difference for the mission of God’s Kingdom and our partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- the Cumbria Ecumenical Pilgrimage taking place over the next fortnight to the Holy Land with almost 80 pilgrims from all four traditions (Anglican, URC, Methodist, Salvation Army) participating. We are seeking prayer for this sign of our unity – and next week I will point you towards the blog if you wish to follow our progress (I am co-leading with the Rt Revd James Newcome – Bishop of Carlisle – and the Revd Richard Teal – Methodist District Chair).
Thank you for your prayers.