CHURCHES TOGETHER IN WINDSOR
ANNUAL ASSEMBLY, 26 November 2015
REPORT FROM THE CHAIR
It has been another busy year for our churches, with our regular events and activities supplemented by various other opportunities to work together or to raise public awareness of the presence and ministry of the Church in Windsor.
Last year’s ‘Carols on the Hill’ was, as always, well attended, with excellent support from the military band and the Military Wives’ choir. A total of £735 was raised for the work of Christian Aid and Windsor Christian Action. Unfortunately however, there were significant problems with sound quality which diminished the experience for many. With the help of Ron Parr, we have been liaising with the local borough to make arrangements for a more effective set-up of crowd location and sound system – including a mains power supply – in order to resolve the problem for this year’s event on Friday Dec 18th, which I would urge all local churches to support wholeheartedly!
The Week of Prayer for Christian unity was celebrated with a joint service at Windsor Methodist Church; our gratitude to the congregation there and particularly to Margaret Dudley for their hospitality and for leading our worship together.
Our gratitude also goes to the Tuesday evening ecumenical prayer group for organising and leading the Good Friday witness in Peascod Street; and also for their hard work in organising appropriate seasonal displays in Windsor Library depicting the Christmas and Easter stories. These seem to have been so well received that they have quickly become a regular commitment and opportunity to share the Christian faith in visual form.
Meanwhile, churches and Christians across the town have continued their excellent support for vital social action initiatives, including the Homeless Project and Street Angels now run by Windsor Christian Action, and Windsor Foodshare. These important expressions of God’s love could not run without your help. Thank you.
In addition to our regular activities, Churches Together in Windsor was involved in supporting or publicising other initiatives involving Christians from across the denominations; including, in May, a performance of Sue Morgan’s musical, ‘Brendan the Navigator’, and in June, the Magna Carta 800 commemorations.
Meanwhile, during the year, the Core Group were delighted to accept an application from the recently-formed Windsor Fellowship to join CTW. As far as I am aware, this is the first new member of CTW for many years, and we look forward to working together in our shared witness to our town.
Core Group priorities
The Core Group has met on four occasions during the year to conduct the business of CTW on your behalf. I am grateful to each member for their respective contributions, and particularly wish to thank Ainsley Swift who, after a number of years, is now stepping down from the group.
At the start of the year, the group identified a number of priorities that it wished to address.
After a year without a secretary, it was important to address the issue of communication and publicity. I am grateful to Jacoby Paterson for her work as secretary, without which we would not have been able to sustain our regular e-mail communications with our contacts in each church. With her help we have also reintroduced CTW’s newsletter and updated our web site.
During the year, we have developed a trifold publicity leaflet giving basic details of each of the town’s churches, which has now been circulated to hotels, libraries and tourist information points. Also, during the summer, some of our churches were approached by an advertising agency working on behalf of the Borough to place a large map advertising key local services in key points in the town. Whilst individual churches considered the cost of such advertising to be disproportionately high for any one congregation, the Core Group took a view that a shared cost for advertising all of the town’s churches was worthwhile, especially as we were able to negotiate a 50% discount. This has incurred unexpected additional expenditure, and the Treasurer’s report will include the Core Group’s proposals for recovering this cost. Meanwhile, we will review with interest the effectiveness of this publicity.
Prayer was also high on our list of priorities, and through the Core Group, our churches have been made aware of a grass-roots initiative, ‘TryPraying’, which offers a booklet resource that is designed to be given away. This booklet aims to help those who say that they sometimes pray, to make sense of prayer from a Christian perspective.
Meanwhile, we have been working to identify and raise awareness of opportunities for shared ministries in the areas of bereavement, healing and pastoral visiting, much of which is still work in progress for which we would value your continued prayers.
In closing, I want to remind us all of Jesus’ command to the Church to show God’s love for the world through our love for each other, both within and between our various congregations. In a world where religious and cultural differences so readily seem to fuel hatred, it has never been more important for the Church to follow the way of Jesus and, in the words of St Paul, to ‘overcome evil with good …for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.’ (Romans 12:21, 13:8)
Chair, Churches Together in Windsor
26 November 2015