THE ANNUAL MEETING of Churches Together in South West Holderness took place last week and the Chairman, Peter Ainscough, reported on the enthusiastic and wide involvement of the denominations represented in the united churches movement in the district.
“All denominations have been well-represented in Churches Together,” said Peter in his address “Last year has seen real progress being made reflecting a shift in emphasis of our activities. Rather than just organise events, we now actively welcome inter-denominational involvement in churches own events.”
During the year Churches Together has participated in a wide range of such events and activities, including the New Year ‘Stargazers’ performance, the Easter Walk of Witness, the Sunrise service, and the Hedon Civic Sunday. In his report Peter commented that the focus of the group had tended to be on Hedon, but this year hoped that the group could join in activities from across the wider district.
The group’s Outreach Officer, who is also Peter’s wife Margaret Ainscough, reported on the Church Diaries which have been published for 17 years. The little red diaries this year contained information on nine churches in the area. However, Margaret reported that producing the diaries was becoming more difficult as publication was dependent on securing advertising. The current diary contains advertising from Fewster in Patrington, Jane Brooks Law in Hedon and HICA care homes and seems to be an excellent way for local businesses to reach key local church activists in the area.
Another key initiative which churches in the area have been involved together in this year, is the “It’s Your Move” booklets. The 66-page glossy handbooks were presented to over 200 children leaving primary schools in the area. The books provide lots of information in an easy-to-read format that prepares young people for starting secondary school. Margaret explained that the idea to support this initiative started in one church, but was quickly taken up by others.
Peter also expressed his sadness at saying goodbye to local church leaders this year as a result of retirement or moving on: “We thank God for the ministry of Pastor Jim Mackenzie, Rev. Vivienne Smith, Rev. Kathy Lawrie, and Rev John Staton.” He offered Churches Together’s welcome to Pastor David North and his wife Dawn as leaders of the Christian Life Church and Rev. Colin Plenderleith as the new minister for the Methodist Church who has arrived with his wife Frances.
The Chairman’s report expressed the hopes of Churches Together to see the richness of denominational differences as a source of strength and not of division. It seems clear, judging by the 20-strong attendance at the Annual Meeting, that the profile of this group is set to grow in the area.