Latest from Churches Together in Northampton

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The Anglican-Lutheran Society


Commemorating the Reformation 500 years


INFORMATION PAPER  3 – September 2017


 The sign that greets you as you enter the county is simple: Welcome to Northamptonshire – the Rose of the Shires  But in spite of the fact that thousands of people travel through the county every day either on the M1 or by train on the West Coast main line or the St Pancras to Sheffield line Northamptonshire remains largely unknown.  Yet it is a place with a long and interesting history and a Christian presence that goes back to early Saxon times.  It has two of the oldest church buildings in England Brixworth and Earls Barton both of which are parishes of the Anglican Diocese of Peterborough. Most of the Nonconformist churches are represented, and the county town of Northampton is the centre of a large Roman Catholic diocese.  At one time, there was a strong Lutheran presence in the north of the county, and there is still a congregation in Corby, the industrial town on the borders of neighbouring Rutland.   Corby also makes Northamptonshire unique among English counties, because it has two Church of Scotland congregations.

Welcome to Northamptonshire is also our greeting to you as we invite you to come and join us in Northampton at 12 noon on 4 November 2017 for a service in the Roman Catholic Cathedral to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  The service is being sponsored by the Anglican-Lutheran Society, but it is a sign of the significant developments in ecumenical relations that it has the strong support of the Bishop of Northampton and of the Dean of the cathedral, as well as members of other denominations.  Ministers from several Christian traditions will participate in the service and the sermon will be preached by Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, formerly Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain and now chaplain of the Anglican congregation in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

The service will not only serve to remind us of how different Christians have come to understand each other more, but also of the Christian inheritance of Northamptonshire, and the surrounding area.  Thomas Becket, Robert Barnes, Katherine Parr, and William Carey all had links to the county, and close by lived John Bunyan, John Newton, William Cowper, and Trevor Huddlestone.

After the service, there will be refreshments and an opportunity to meet fellow Christians from different traditions.  We hope that you will be able to come and join us for this joyful occasion.  To assist us in the planning, it would be helpful if you could let us know if you might be able to come so that we have a rough idea of how many people to cater for. Please email Mrs Sally Barnes at, or Dr Roy Long at, or phone Father Phillip Swingler on 01933-353535.




During October 2017, Revd Kleber Machado, the minister of St Ninian’s Church of Scotland in Corby, will be in Mozambique on behalf of the Church of Scotland.  Mr Kleber is from Brazil and, as a Portuguese-speaker, will be undertaking some theological teaching in the country.  He has invited Dr Roy Long, the retired Lutheran pastor who is part of the committee planning the Northampton service, to lead services and preach in St Ninian’s on 1, 8, and 15 October. He has particularly asked for sermons on themes connected with the Reformation.  Both ministers will then jointly take part in a service on 29 October.  Dr Long was, for several years, pastor of the English-speaking Lutheran Church in Corby and a teacher of Religious Studies, first at Corby Grammar School, and subsequently at Lodge Park Comprehensive School.  He has had a close friendship with St Ninian’s since his time in Corby.



At an event in the Norwegian Church in Rotherhithe, which included planting a tree to commemorate the Reformation anniversary, a new book on Luther was launched.  Commissioned by the Council of Lutheran Churches and written by Dr Roy Long, the book is entitled Martin Luther and his Legacy: A Perspective on 500 Years of Reformation, and tells the story of Lutherans in Britain since the 16th century.  Details are available from the Council at

Are you interested in praying for missions?

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As many churches no longer pray for missions outside of their own circle, we are planning to start a monthly prayer meeting for ‘Open Doors’ and other international mission agencies. We would like to link up with other existing groups or help start a network of small praying groups that is not tied in to specific churches or denominations, but which will support the wider church.

If you are interested, please email Joe Story

Town Centre Christmas Witness

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Steve Jones Reports:-

Dear All

Thanks to all of you who attended the meeting on September 13th. It was an exciting and constructive time as we discussed how we could work together to deliver a programme of worship and witness for the Christmas season.

The minutes are available from me by request

I would ask everyone to read them, and if your church or group wants to participate please send me an email as requested in section 4: Church Participation.

Also note that the date of the next meeting is Wednesday October 11th at 1 pm at the Jesus Centre. It is important that we receive your email of your proposed contribution well ahead of that meeting. Technical details can be added later if necessary.


Steve Jones 07740 774188



In attendance were: Jill Roach (NBC Events Team), Councillor Anna King (NBC), Joy Smither (Storehouse Church), Adina Curtis (Churches Together), Cameron Duboys (St Giles), Rev Jonny Dade (St Giles), Rev Oliver Coss (All Saints), Pastor Donovan Allen (NTCG), Rev Pauline Cosgrove ( CoGoP), Paul Worth (KLC), Yvette Anderson (NTCG), Elvis Nague (Church of Pentecost), Wim da Rijk (Jesus Fellowship), Steve Jones (Jesus Fellowship)


Further meetings scheduled for

  • Wednesday November 8th   1 pm Northampton Jesus Centre
  • Wednesday November 29th   1 pm Northampton Jesus Centre

Thirty years since the ‘Swanwick Declaration’ – read the text

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Thirty years since the ‘Swanwick Declaration’ – AND STILL RELEVANT

 To remember and mark the 30th anniversary, here is the text from the CTE webpage that describes the landmark event. 

The ‘Swanwick Declaration’ of 4th September 1987 marked the transition from a Council of Churches model of working to the Churches Together model.   The full Declaration is published in Churches Together in Pilgrimage – beow is an extract

1987 text:

Appointed by our churches and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we declare that this, the broadest assembly of British and Irish churches ever to meet in these islands has reached a common mind.

We came with different experiences and traditions, some with long ecumenical service, some for whom this is a new adventure. We are one band of pilgrims. We are old and young, women and men, black and white, lay and ordained and we travelled from the four corners of these islands to meet at Swanwick in Derbyshire. There we met, we listened, we talked, we worshipped, we prayed, we sat in silence, deeper than words.

Against the background of so much suffering and sinfulness in our society we were reminded of our call to witness that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. We affirmed that this world with all its sin and splendour belongs to God. Young people called on us to be ready to sort out our priorities so that we could travel light and concentrate on our goal. Driven on by a gospel imperative to seek unity that the world may believe, we rejoiced that we are pilgrims together and strangers no longer.

We now declare together our readiness to commit ourselves to each other under God. Our earnest desire is to become more fully, in his own time, the one Church of Christ, united in faith, communion, pastoral care and mission. Such unity is the gift of God. With gratitude we have truly experienced this gift, growing amongst us in these days. We affirm our openness to this growing unity in obedience to the Word of God, so that we may fully share, hold in common and offer to the world those gifts which we have received and still hold in separation. In the unity we seek we recognise that there will not be uniformity but legitimate diversity. It is our conviction that, as a matter of policy at all levels and in all places, our churches must now move from co-operation to clear commitment to each other, in search of the unity for which Christ prayed and in common evangelism and service of the world..

Available for your church: A collection of international ecumenical, Protestant, Anglican, Catholic and interfaith resources for Creation Time.

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Season of Creation

Through to 4th October

A collection of international ecumenical, Protestant, Anglican, Catholic and interfaith resources for Creation Time. For 2017 the Season of Creation is a collaboration between the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance, Global Catholic Climate Movement, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

As well as resources, the Season of Creation website includes a list of events, advice on organising a service and other courses of action.

Resources and links from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland:

Do you have an interest in Mental Health?

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On January 21st 2018 Churches Together in Northampton will hold its annual service in St. Andrews hospital chapel.

The focus will be on the role churches/Christians might play in helping those who are either clients or workers in this area of welfare.

A small group will be meeting 9 a.m. November 2nd 2017 to plan the service.  If you would like to be part of the planning group, please contact the secretary of CTN: Ted Hale

In any case, please make a note of the date January 21st 2018 for CTN’s AGM and annual service

Information about HOPE2018 (and Christmas 2017)

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HOPE2018 is going to be an amazing year, lots of opportunities within the Christian calendar, words and actions to make Jesus known. January will see a great 7 session video course enabling, equipping and empowering people to be able to share their faith. Lent will bring us a great resource which links in with the HOPE Prison ministry. Please can I encourage you to have a browse at our website and the brochure that is available now to give out and to support you in your planning. Please contact CPO for copies of the brochure, the link is in the paragraph below.

Equipping the Saints The summer conference season has kicked off. These are key events to equip the Church. Thousands of HOPE 2018 brochures are being distributed to encourage delegates to prepare for mission – if you receive a brochure take the opportunity to talk to fellow delegates about their church’s mission plans for 2018 and share what you are doing in your area. Order your free brochures here.

There are some very simple guidelines on the website about using the logo

We are keen for everyone to use the logo as much as possible and the HOPE shop can provide you with pre-printed resources or you can overprint with your own details

Please can I ask that if events are held under the umbrella of HOPE that you kindly forward stories and pictures through to me, its great to see the message of Jesus being shared and to be able to share ideas with others too.

Christmas 2016 saw a pilot scheme for our Christmas Magazine, this year will be another opportunity to witness and share faith through the magazine. This magazine is a gift to be given and shared within our communities.

‘Working closely with Hope, Jim Currin from Churches Together in England has said, “Churches working together to share the message of God’s love in Jesus at Christmas .. What could be better?! This magazine is another resource from Hope that I know Churches Together groups will use and find well received”.

Christmas HOPE

Christmas HOPE is a 28-page glossy give-away magazine. It was piloted at Christmas 2016 when 100,000 copies were given away by churches to people in their communities. A new Christmas HOPE magazine will be available in the autumn with lots of new stories and features for 2017.

The aim of Christmas HOPE is to give churches a top-quality give-away to use door-to-door in their neighbourhoods. Churches that use HOPE’s rhythm of mission find that regular contact, and a culture of hospitality and generosity helps to build relationships. HOPE is committed to giving churches resources so each member has something to say, something to give and an invitation to offer through a rhythm of mission: Easter, Harvest and Christmas. With Christmas HOPE as something to give, the aim is that Christians will find it easier to say something about their faith and to invite neighbours to Christmas events.

Music and magazines Summer has hardly started, but the HOPE team are busy working with partners to finalise resources for churches to use at Christmas. We are developing a Hope for Every Home initiative to provide top quality Christmas HOPE magazines for you to deliver door-to-door in your area. As you think ahead to your autumn events, plan to map out a specific area where you can bring hope to every home this Christmas. Last year 100,000 copies of Christmas HOPE (left) were delivered. In September we will reveal the 2017 Christmas HOPE magazine for you to order. Tell us how many copies you could use

Movement Day UK –  6/7th Oct 2017

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Movement Day UK –  6/7th Oct 2017
Churches Together Seminar 

Jim Currin writes:

500 delegates have already booked for a major conference called Movement Day UK (MDUK) and Churches Together in England will be contributing in several ways, including through a stream with the theme Transforming Our Communities.

CTE is working closely with Roger Sutton, Director of the Gather network and the host of MDUK. Some CTE Presidents and staff are attending. I’ll be leading a seminar with a team of contributors to which you are particularly invited. That will be on Friday 6th October under the heading, Churches Together Groups: Transforming Our Communities. 

There are several CTE Presidents involved in Movement Day in a variety of ways. Revd Canon Billy Kennedy is involved in some of the planning as a leader of one of the Gather groups, while His Grace Bishop Angaelos is a main key note speaker. CTE has agreed to be one of the many organisations working in partnership to co-badge the conference.

The seminar will include contributions from several people including: 

  • David Cornick, General Secretary of CTE, will report on the current Theos review and its recommendations re CTE and mission.
  • Callan Slipper the new national Ecumenical Officer for the CofE re what ‘ecumenical’ means in terms of mission and transformation
  • Jerry Marshall from Germinate and the Churches Rural Group, will give a rural perspective and talk about mission as enterprise 
  • Danny Stupple, Chair of Churches Together in Eastleigh will be illustrating ‘Transforming Our Community’ with video and testimony.

 The speakers will form a panel for questions.

A personal invitation
I want to invite all members of Churches Together(CT) groups to be delegates 6th and 7th October at Westminster Methodist Central Hall (WCH) in London. Information, the whole programme and how to register to attend is on:

 If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Churches Together groups can engage in mission as transformation, do email Jim Currin. It would be great to see you at Movement Day UK in October.

Prisons Week 2017 – 8th – 14th October -Justin Welby reflection

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Prisons Week 2017 – 8th – 14th October

 ‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.’   Philippians 3:12 (NIV)

Justin Welby writes:

The Apostle Paul here speaks as someone who knows the pain of endurance and hopelessness. Tortured and beaten, in prison many times for his faith, he nonetheless spoke to fellow prisoners about the hope he had found in Jesus. He had started as offender, hurting and maiming others, but found forgiveness and new life in Jesus. Yet life did not magically grow easier; instead he had to learn to live with his past, and face an uncertain present of false accusations and persecution for his faith. He was someone kept alive by hope, who endured and persevered in the face of desperate circumstances.

What better inspiration for all those connected to the criminal justice system, than Paul’s words? For the victims who struggle day by day to live with memories and scars, and hope for a better tomorrow; for the staff, who patiently come alongside broken men and women, and walk with them the slow road towards change; for prisoners themselves, trying to make sense of their lives, fighting against the scars and choices of the past and fear of the future; and for the families and friends of those in prison, faithfully visiting and supporting. Paul encourages all not to give up hope, but keep their eyes on the goal, keep going. Yet this isn’t about making efforts and working harder. It is about recognising that in Jesus, God has already ‘taken hold’ of us. That victims, prisoners, staff and families, are not walking this road alone, but God, who loves them, is ready to walk with them. In Prison Week, we stand in prayer with all who carry on in hope, that they would know they are loved by God and have the faith and courage to press on towards new life.
The Most Rev. and the Rt Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The  Prisons Week Prayer – Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.

Download the Prayer leaflet and more information:


Rowan Williams preaches for Romero Service – an invitation to attend

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Rowan Williams preaches

for Romero Service and an

invitation to attend

 Jenny Bond writes:

 The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will preach on The hope that inspires Christians at a special national ecumenical celebration of the birth of Oscar Romero on Saturday 23 September at 3.00 pm at Westminster Abbey.

The special extended evensong will include readings and music reflecting the Romero centenary and the premiere of a Romero Anthem composed by James MacMillan.

Churches Together in England is co-sponsoring this event and all are welcome. More information is available on the Romero Trust website and the free tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

It is hoped that the celebration will be preceded by RISE Theatre’s performance of Romero, the Heartbeat of El Salvador at noon at a nearby venue. Information will be posted when it becomes available.