Registered Charity No. 1117022
The Rt Revd John Sherrington
Revd. Dr. Callan Slipper
Churches Together in Hertfordshire unites in pilgrimage those churches in the area which, acknowledging God's revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord according to the Scriptures, and in obedience to God's will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves:
To seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another
in the Church, which is his body; and
To fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness
and service in the world:
To the glory of one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Welcome to the new website for Churches Together in Hertfordshire
We are continually developing this site, and to do this we need your help! Please
send us news of events and activities from your church, and let us have your suggestions
for other content.
We shall soon be introducing a discussion forum to the site and we hope that this will become a central hub for ecumenical discussions in Hertfordshire. Please do make contact with your thoughts, comments and ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Prison Counselling service
in danger of closure
Loraine McSherry and Carole Simkins write …
The Counselling Service for inmates at HMP The Mount is under serious threat of closure with immediate effect due to a cut in the chaplaincy budget. There is no money available to run the service for this current year so we urgently need help otherwise this valuable service will be lost. It will not be easy to re-instate as it has been built up over 18 years.
Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Church leaders, including Bishop Angaelos from the Coptic Cathedral in Stevenage, met in the historic Hampton Court over the weekend of 5-6 October 2013.
They had a deep experience of fellowship, sharing in prayer and worship. But they were also united in their fears about Christianity in the Middle East.
This was the first Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission in 12 years and leading clergy and theologians from both Christian traditions took part. They seek to engage in theological dialogue and, at the same time, to forge ever deeper bonds of fellowship in faith.
Other news links
Churches Together in England elects its first Pentecostal President
The first Pentecostal President for Churches Together in England (CTE), Jamaican born Bishop Eric Brown, was installed on Monday 7 October 2013.
In a historic move, he joins the existing group of Presidents, Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, the Revd Michael Heaney and Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.
Bishop Brown is the Presiding Bishop of the New Testament Church of God, a black majority Pentecostal church celebrating its 60th anniversary in the UK.
Many of the linked documents on this site are in PDF format. Download the free Reader if you do not have it.
Charities, including ecumenical groups, need to be aware that the Charity Commission is cracking down. In an attempt to ensure that charities abide by their statutory obligations, it has launched an inquiry into 12 charities. These have failed to file annual reports, accounts or returns with the Charity Commission for two or more years. It is possible that the Commission will consider seeking the power to withdraw some privileges from ‘non-filing’ charities, such as the ability to reclaim Gift Aid.
Failure to submit annual documents to the Commission is a criminal offence. In the view of the Commission it amounts to mismanagement or even misconduct. The Commission has been contacting charities by telephone and has issued written warnings, requiring full compliance by a specified date.
f anyone is concerned about their own charity, it is possible to check whether a charity is ‘non-filing’. All that is need is to look at the Charity Commission’s website and use its advanced search facility: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/find-charities/. At the top of the list of options there is a group of four. One of these is ‘Charities with latest documents overdue.’ If in doubt, check it out!
An important update on charity obligations
A unity of the Heart
A unity of the heart, founded upon profound relationships in God, was the purpose of a meeting in Jerusalem of 33 bishops – Anglicans, Catholics (of different rites: Latin, Syriac, Chaldean, Maronite and Melkite), Evangelical Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Syrian Orthodox. This was the 32nd Ecumenical Conference of Bishops organized by the Focolare Movement held from 18th to 22nd November 2013.
It was, in its way, a colourful gathering as well as important.
Study Centre’s Summer programme
A whole new range of learning opportunities is offered by the St Albans Cathedral Study Centre’s summer programme.
The Centre, which used to be called the St Albans Centre for Christian Study, is for people of all traditions. It offers a range of possibilities, from ten-week courses to one-off talks and study days. The courses are ecumenical and, unless otherwise stated, there are no pre-requisites.
Past students have spoken highly of the courses, saying they are ‘marvellous’, ‘enlightening’ and ‘enjoyable’. Read more in the Summer 2014 brochure here.
Pentecostal Christianity is becoming a greater focus of interest among Christians of all churches.
A historic consultation took place between Anglicans and Pentecostals at the beginning of April 2014. Initiated by the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity, nine Anglicans and eight Pentecostals gathered for two days of dialogue, prayer and worship.
They explored the roots and the development of Anglicanism and Pentecostalism in England and worldwide, Christian initiation, worship, ministry and spiritual gifts, and the nature and mission of the Church.
Christian unity grows as we work for others, our work for others is more effective as we work in unity. An exciting scheme promoted by Christian Aid is a chance to experience this mutual benefit. It is a way of standing shoulder to shoulder with people in need throughout the world.
The scheme is called Community Partnerships. It links up with some of the world’s poorest communities. Perhaps one of the most inspiring aspects of it is that donations given to projects through Community Partnerships are matched by generous funding from the European Union. Every pound you give is matched by at least three pounds more!
CT HERTS goes Twitter
Churches Together in Hertfordshire has moved further into the world of digital communication by setting up a Twitter account.
Twitter has grown into a vast social networking system in just a few years and differs from other facilities by limiting users to brief sentences rather than extended monologues. Postings left by Twitter users are called ‘tweats’ and are an excellent way to make short comments and to publicise events etc. The account, operated by Facilitator Callan Slipper, aims to develop insights, experiences and practical suggestions for Christian unity. See what Callan has to say by looking at @manybut1. The Twitter icon to the top left will be permanently added to this site and access is direct. You do not need a Twitter account to read the posts but you may want to create one and contribute yourself!
NEWS from Churches Together in Herts
A Passiontide and Easter Message from
the Presidents of Churches Together in England!
There are moments when life doesn't seem worth living anymore, when there is a sense of helplessness around us, when injustice piles on injustice and dreams are trampled underfoot. That was how the followers of Jesus felt on Good Friday. Jesus had been executed by the powers that be and the hopes of a kingdom full of justice, peace and love seemed buried with him. Many in our world experience such times of desolation as they endure war, insurrection, hunger, poverty and distress.
But early on Easter Sunday morning when the women came to anoint the body of Jesus, they found that something extraordinary and inexplicable had happened. The grave clothes were there, but the tomb was empty. They soon discovered that Jesus was alive. God had raised him from the dead and the power of death had been broken.
The earliest Christians gathered together, encountered the Risen Jesus among them, and experienced his forgiveness. On Good Friday Jesus was lifted up on the cross, his resurrection on Easter is the assurance that God in Christ is with us, giving us hope and strength to grasp the opportunities available, to proclaim his resurrection and to seek his help in times of difficulty and struggle. With Christ in our midst we will overcome.
The good news of Easter is that God's kingdom of love, justice and peace is possible and that lives of individuals and peoples can be transformed. We pray that this Easter will be a time when the risen Jesus comes into your lives and that you feel a calling to be his witnesses that the world may see and believe.
(Join Christians in a local church this Easter, or visit www.christianity.org.uk to find out more about the joy of Easter).
The Presidents of Churches Together in England.