At the last PCC meeting, we voted to renew our membership of Churches Together in Ashford. Hardly momentous news, but it’s important.
It’s important as a reminder that we are committed to working, worshipping and
witnessing alongside all the other churches in our parish. Our family of Anglican
churches may sometimes feel a bit big and a bit complicated, but we’re only a
minority of the followers of Christ in this town. As those who belong to him, we
belong to one another as well.
It’s important too as a sign that things are moving in relations between the churches
here. At the moment, you’d struggle to find any information online about Churches
Together in Ashford. The plan is to launch a new website soon, but to do that we
need to have an up-to-date list of member churches – and there isn’t one. Hence all
churches are being asked to renew their membership, or establish it for the first time.
It’s an important step.
Churches Together in Ashford works closely with Ashford Together, a charity that
was started to help support the Winter Night Shelter by handling grant funding on
behalf of the churches, managing staff that funding was used to employ, and
coordinating the contribution of the churches involved. Ashford Together has
continued to resource church partnership in transformative social action through
various initiatives since then, including MakerLife and Family Food and Fun. It set up
the ‘Serving Together’ event in the autumn to bring together people involved in social
action from different churches and enable better communication and collaboration
between us. The hope is that as we strengthen that network, the future priorities for
Ashford Together will also become clearer.
Finally, being committed to working, worshipping and witnessing together doesn’t
mean that we can only do things with all of our partners in Churches Together in
Ashford. We can also operate at a more local level, with our immediate neighbours.
For instance, St Mary’s Ashford Town Centre, Ashford Baptist Church and Bright
City Church are coming together to hold a joint act of worship and witness in the
town centre on Good Friday. Members of other churches are very welcome to join
Who are your nearest church neighbours? How well do you know them? How could
you show your unity in Christ in practical ways, to grow in discipleship together and
to witness together to the love of God?