2016/17 AGM report from Chair of Churches Together in Whitchurch, Revd. Andy Fitchet
2016 has been an ’interesting’ year in world affairs. Some have been jubilant about it and others have been crushed, many somewhere in between.
With the EU referendum and the election of Trump it has caused splits in families and disagreements in churches. It has however encouraged Christians and Churches across the country to not shy away from difficult world affairs but to pray, seek and act in the name of Jesus to care for the other.
This year across the lives of the various expressions of the Church in Whitchurch has, however, been a year of blessing. It was a year that began with ministerial uncertainty with our Methodist Sisters and Brothers, but ended with the blessing of Rachel. It was a year of celebration at Whitchurch Baptist with the ordination of myself. It was a year of new things at All Hallows with the opening of the new rooms and the planning of the new Alpha Course. Our sisters and brothers at the Roman Catholic church continued in faithful fellowship.
Reflecting on the year past seems an odd thing to do in February but with the business of Christmas and the meetings which were ‘lets do that after Christmas’ all done and dusted…almost, February brings space to think and plan before we get to Lent.
2016 was a year of blessing and new phases and 2017 looks to be the same. With a more focussed effort to come closer together as expressions of the Church here in Whitchurch, through Prayer and Praise, Lent and the Thy Kingdom Come initiative. We will no doubt grow in fellowship and deepness of our relationship with God.
All Hallows have launched their Alpha Course with 40 people, PRAISE GOD. With the news of Kelvin’s departure there is a time of seeking and praying as the Bishop, Diocese and Church seeking the right person to fill the role. This brings with it exciting opportunities, for Kelvin as the Rector of St Thomas’ Salisbury and for the life of All Hallows.
The Methodists will no doubt see changes as Rachel and the family there seek what it is that God is doing amongst them and where he is leading them. Having already blessed the town through initiatives such as the Christmas Angels – 2017 we wait to see more.
The Baptists continue to see growth and pray this continues into 2017. We celebrate our 365th Birthday in 2017, which will see the Launch of Mission 365, a whole year of intentional Mission in Whitchurch, doing something everyday of the year to bless God and the Town.
We continue to have good fellowship on a individual basis with our sisters and brothers at St John Fisher and pray and seek a deeper relationship with the congregation there in 2017.
To sum up, 2016 has been a year of blessing amongst difficult world affairs, it is my prayer that 2017 will be another year of blessing, but with less difficult world affairs…we can but hope.