The signing of a Local Covenant between Cheddington Methodist Church and St Giles Parish Church.
It is encouraging when denominations can work together to give a positive witness about the Christian faith. St Giles Parish Church and the Methodist Chapel share their resources in many ways.
To celebrate all that exists and all that is possible in the future, the two churches have signed a 'Local Covenant'. This is not a formal or legal document, but an agreement to which the community was invited, to witness the unity of Christians in Cheddington.
An invitation was sent out to all Circuit churches, as well as the local community, to celebrate this 'Local Covenant' on January 18th. at the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This event was a great success, attended by about 60 people, including visitors from the circuit , as far away as Chinnor! , representatives from local organisations including Chairman of the Parish Council, Residents Association, WI, Drama Group, History Society etc. ,and a 20 strong choir comprising St Giles and Methodist members.
An excellent tea in the Church Hall preceded the service at 5pm led by Rev Irena Byron. She outlined existing links between the churches; many regular meetings, including Open Doors, Toast (toddler group) , Emmaus Group, Film night, Lent Group and Messy Church are run ecumenically, mainly using Methodist premises.
It was good to sing some great hymns, accompanied by the choir, who contributed a song by Stuart Townend 'From the squalor of a borrowed stable -'Immanuel'.
Rev Gill Rowell gave a well-received address using Psalm 133 ' How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity'. Six representatives (picture details below) signed four copies of the Covenant document, 1 for display and 1 for the records of each church.
Both Rev Helen Kirk, and Rev Philip Derbyshire spoke briefly and eloquently at the close of the service, giving us great encouragement for the future.
On Sunday 25th. January we celebrated the Methodist Covenant Service at a United Communion service at St Giles' led by Rev Gill Rowell, with Rev Irena giving the sermon.
'Our currency be love,
and kindliness our law,
our food and faith be shared as one for evermore'
'Community of Christ' by Shirley Erena Murray, Hymn 681 in Singing the Faith
Picture: left to right
Chistopher Shepheard, St Giles Church warden
Stuart Minall, Cheddington Methodist Senior Steward
Rev Irena Byron — Methodist Minister
Rev Philip Derbyshire — Anglican Team Rector
Rev Helen Kirk — Superintendent Minister of Aylesbury Vale Methodist Circuit
Rev Gill Rowell — team Vicar of Cheddington