Churches Together – working together to be witnesses to Christ’s love in Harborne

Frances Pond, Chair of Churches Together in Harborne has written the following Annual Report for 2012/2013. It makes interesting reading and sets out some challenges for the year ahead.Logo for Churches Together in Harborne

It doesn’t seem possible that another year has passed and the AGM is here already, and this July is again a time of change and departures.

Jane Clarke stood down from the committee at the January 2013 meeting. She had been Treasurer since 2008, and Christmas card coordinator for many years. We are very grateful for her calm good humoured efficiency in both these roles, and I wish to repeat my thanks to her for all her support of CTH. We wish her well for her move to her new parish in Summerfield, and every success for her work there.

Revd. Caroline Ralph is leaving Harborne this summer, and we wish her all blessings in her new Parish in Somerset. On behalf of all of us I thank her for all her support of CTH and other inter-church events during her time with us.

Jane Yeomans is stepping down as Secretary at the AGM and my thanks to her for her great work as Secretary since 2009 – I am immensely grateful to her for holding everything together so capably, and especially for guiding me through the CTH meetings over the last 18 months. We wish her and everyone at St Peter’s well in the coming months, and our prayers will be with them through this time of change. I am delighted that Jane will continue to support CTH as a representative for St Peter’s.

It has been heartening to read all the reports from the member Churches about their many positive achievements through the last year, so many accounts of communities praying and growing together in the face of challenging times. I thank all the Parishes’ representatives for these, and for generously continuing to give their time and skills to CTH.

For CTH this last year seems to have been rather dominated by the more workaday issue of our sign on the Clock Tower. Thanks to determined work by our Treasurer and Secretary the board has been successfully saved, and we hope to find an equally central location for it in the High Street soon. The board is an important statement of our Christian presence in Harborne, but far more important is our enduring ecumenical community which manifests itself in so many ways in throughout the Christian year – in our shared liturgies, Prayer for Christian Unity week, the Christmas cards, the biennial Lent groups, and this CTH group itself. At our last AGM we talked about spending this year planning for a ‘big’ event in 2013/14, but we perhaps underestimate what we achieve each year as a ‘matter of course’. Despite the weather the Holy Week services went ahead, and brave souls did venture out in the snow to share the Unity lunch at the LF Fountain of Grace. St John’s gave a warm welcome to those of us who joined them to meet our local MP and discuss the redefinition marriage bill. And in January Fr Bernard invited us to witness together the need to Make space for God on Sunday – I pray that as we respond to this invitation this will indeed become our big event in Harborne over the coming months.

I pray too that in the coming months it will become clearer to us what role CTH can best take to support and share all that is going on in our different congregations, that we may continue to be witnesses of Christ’s love for us, to each other, and to those we live and work with, in
Harborne and beyond.

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17-19)

Frances Pond July 2013

7th Aug 2013 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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