North Walsham churches sign up to unity covenant
In a packed united service at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on Sunday January 20 representatives from all nine members of North Walsham Churches Together met for worship in a special covenant service where they all signed the ecumenical covenant of unity and mutual support. Tony Rothe reports.
The service was part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and all churches took part in the service in various ways. Those involved included North Walsham Methodist church, St. Nicholas Church of England, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic, North Walsham Congregational church, Worstead Baptist Church, Swanton Abbott chapel, Society of Friends, the Salvation Army and New Life church.
“This was a significant and indeed historic event, and proved to be a truly uplifting and positive service" said Major Richard Durrant, Chairman of North Walsham Churches Together. "We may worship in slightly different ways, but we are all one, and want to make it clear to our local community that this is the case. In our diversity there is a rich unity flowing.
"This is the first time that all nine churches have met together in this way and we pray that this will be the start of us moving forward to reach out more effectively to our local community, as the church should indeed do.”
Sacred Heart Church hosted the event and Fr James Walsh preached the sermon. He said: “This event is the result of close co-operation and growing friendship between the churches involved and was planned by the ministers fraternal which meets on a regular basis. The covenant we signed commits us to praying for each other, working together when possible and learning from each other. Altogether an important milestone in our future.”
Rev Patrick Coghlan, minister of Worstead Baptist Church, said “It was an amazing service, with huge implications for the work in the North Walsham area. I think this is one of the most significant events that has taken place in our area since we ran a joint mission several years ago. I really believe that God will honour this step, and that as a result we will see significant growth in all the local churches. It is very exciting.”
Revd John Fenn represented the Methodists, and commented “The Methodist Church is proud to be a part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. So we are proud to work together locally with any Christian church which is willing to work with us. Our agreement in North Walsham is one which is common across local Covenants across the country, and it commits is to work together with others wherever possible, to worship together, and to present the Gospel together. North Walsham Methodist Church is happy to be part of such an arrangement, covering six churches in North Walsham, plus three others in the neighbouring villages.”
The photo above of representatives from all the churches involved is courtesy of North Walsham Churches Together.
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