Christian unity in King’s Lynn thrives to benefit town
On September 19 Churches Together in King’s Lynn met for their AGM highlighting the immense value of local churches and Christian organisations working together for the good of the town.
Churches Together in King’s Lynn is a vibrant and effective forum - inspiring, supporting and promoting Christian-based social and spiritual action within the town.
On Wednesday, September 19 at the AGM it showcased the work local Christians were doing by giving members of church groups and Christian charities an opportunity to update the gathering. Groups taking advantage of this opportunity included Celebrate King’s Lynn, King’s Lynn Foodbank, King’s Lynn Community Fridge, the new Centre of Mission, King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter, King’s Lynn CAP Debt Centre, the Men’s Shed in King’s Lynn and CROWNS Trust (Christians Reaching Out to West Norfolk Schools).
Moderator Rev Becca Roberts introduced the meeting saying: “It has been good to see churches co-operating together for the good of the whole community.”
Important initiatives like King’s Lynn Foodbank, the CAP Debt Centre and Celebrate King’s Lynn have originated from within the group and continue to grow and meet increased need with their support and involvement. And in the past 12 months Churches Together in King’s Lynn was a key partner in establishing the new King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter.
The pilot project provided food, a bed, laundry, toilet, washing facilities and fellowship for an average of twelve homeless people on two nights per week between October 2017 and March 2018. It was generally agreed by clients, staff and volunteers to have been a success. Now with additional funding, including £25,000 from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, and a full-time coordinator in place it plans to open 7 nights a week from November 2018 to March 2019.
Throughout the year Churches Together in King’s Lynn also organises inspiring and challenging talks. Over the past year these have included sessions about ‘Eco-Church’ urging church communities to work towards a more environmentally friendly future and ‘Modern Slavery’ encouraging vigilance against exploitation. Journalist and author Peter Stanford also spoke at a session on ‘Martin Luther Catholic Dissident’ to mark 500 years of the writing of the Ninety Five Theses.
A significant part of the Churches Together in King’s Lynn calendar is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year it ran from 18-25 January on the theme: ‘That all may be free; The Caribbean experience of Slavery, Colonialism and Liberation’ based on Exodus 15. Church goers visited eight different churches in King’s Lynn over the week and fostered communication between churches. Churches Together prayer meetings to pray for the people of the town have been encouraged since.
The Good Friday Walk of Witness was also an important spiritual witness starting at St Faith’s Church and proceeding to churches and through the town centre collecting parishioners on the way. About 100 people finished the walk when prayers and hospitality were held in the Minster.
And in May just over £4,000 was collected in Christian Aid Week under the banner of Churches Together in King’s Lynn.
?Plans for the year ahead include a training day on ‘Welcoming ex-offenders’ on Saturday, October 6 at 10am-1pm with Rev John Belfield at St John the Evangelist Church, Blackfriars Road, King’s Lynn PE30 1NT and on Thursday, November 8 at 7.30pm a meeting about Universal Credit will be held at London Road Methodist Church, organised by Andrew Frere-Smith.
This article is adapted from the Minutes and Annual Review of Churches Together in King's Lynn prepared by Secretary Peter Coates.
Photo: The Purfleet Quay and Custom House, King's Lynn by James Linwood on Flickr