The day begins with me crossing town to take a early Communion service, sharing God's word and breaking bread with them. This is followed by our congregation (St Francis') going up the hill to have a joint service with the Methodists (St Andrew's) - something we began last year having made the journey both ways and having run a joint Alpha and continue with a shared House group too.
This evening will see many of the Christians from the Tamworth area crowd into the town centre church, St Editha's, where we will celebrate the many things done to serve the town's residents (and there are a fair number of them) and add to their number Tamworth Street Angels. We have the diocesan bishop and senior clergy from the Baptists, Methodists and RC Church. How cool is that?
Having done some of my training in a couple of Methodist colleges and working with them in the East end of London during the seventies, I have long appreciated them (enjoying the fact that they are of course 'splitters') and this joy has deepened with the coming of the current minister, Tim, to our town a while back. The addition of two new RC clergy, Michael and Noel, has brought opportunities to share I new ways - the previous incumbents were a blessing too - (and loving the fact that we become the 'splitters'!). The arrival of the Baptist minister, Graham, has deepened the joy and the cherry on the cake has to be the Living Rock Church and John and Caleb.
Ecumenism is often regarded as something that doesn't that sounds great when reading the label on the tin that contains it but is, when opened, is something rather bland that lacks the ability to sustain. This is not the case though, for where there is a willingness to dialogue and a desire to serve the people in the place where you live, ecumenicism is a deep and enabling joy.
This week we will see us meet in different church building at 7pm every day to pray together as one Church as we engage in the 'Week of Prayer for Christian Unity' - can it get any better?
To all the members and leaders of the churches that is Tamworth Covenanting Churches: