Last Saturday Chorley URC was packed, and others joined the Livestream from their homes, to welcome Revd Clare Downing as the new Moderator of North Western Synod.   The sun shone, and a sense of celebration and joy was palpable as people gathered from all around Synod and beyond to mark this special occasion.

Revd Dr John Bradbury (General Secretary), Revd Fiona Bennett (General Assembly Moderator) and Clare all arrived at Chorley earlier in the day to see some of the work at Chorley’s award winning ‘Repair Café’ and to be interviewed by BBC Lancashire before the service started.

Methodist, Baptist, Anglican and Salvation Army colleagues, along with the Mayor of Chorley, welcomed Clare to the North West during the service.  John Bradbury preached on Luke’s account of the disciples walking the road to Emmaus when Jesus fell into step with them along their way and joined them on their journey.   If you were not able to be there, and didn’t manage to watch the livestream, the induction was recorded and you can watch it here.

Following the service, John, Clare and Fiona all planted trees in the church garden

Chorley excelled with the weather;  with a wonderful choir;  a lively band and a gifted organist making the singing of all the hymns moving and uplifting.   Chorley URC’s hospitality continued afterwards with refreshments for all, and a chance to catch up, chat and meet Clare.

Sincere thanks to everyone who made the day a great success – and a warm welcome to Clare as she begins her three year role as Moderator of North Western Synod.   May it be a happy, rewarding and encouraging time for her, and for all of us.

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