From Our Minister's Work Station
From Our Minister's Workstation
Recent copies of the minsters letters from our Minister Brian. ...more

February 2022: From The Minister’s Pen



By the time this article goes to press the churches of Sidmouth will have made a decision on the future of Churches Together in Sidmouth, known as CTIS. This decision will provide a clear statement on commitment among the churches to unity and ecumenism.

Well one could make that statement on the matter. Of course on the night it will come down to more mundane issues. It will boil down to the replacement of the Secretary and Chair who are both at the end of their appointment. According to the constitution both these posts must be filled. If no one stands for the two posts (and one is offering) CTIS will cease. Many other organisations face a similar fate both in the town and on the national scene. The lack of volunteers is becoming a problem. We are not immune from such difficulties here in this Fellowship. However, if CTIS folds it will be a sad indictment on us all.

Churches Together was born out of the most admirable of desires that Christians should have unity even if their practise, tradition and denominations are poles apart from one another. CTIS has provided a number of vehicles to make this possible.

These Services have included:-
  • The Annual List of Services to Tourist Accommodation addresses;
  • Production of the Sidmouth Churches Year Book;
  • United Services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity;
  • Lenten mid-week Services and Study Groups;
  • The Good Friday Procession
  • Newspaper Advertising of Easter and Christmas Services;
  • Pentecost Valley Walk;
  • Hymns in the Park events;
  • The Folk Festival Service;
  • The United Service for Healing;
  • Christmas Carnival Witness;
  • And the provision of Posters and News media services.
So you see its passing will not go unnoticed. And what a time, to cease such good practice. We live in an age of Covenant between Methodists and Anglicans, we know of congregations that have become united. I have heard some of our own members express the view that Christians should be under one roof here in Sidmouth rather than duplicating the expense of large premises which speak of our separation. I actually think we need diversity and I know that many would not ‘enjoy’ sharing in the new expressions of church that many have already embraced. So should we worry about our unity. I am very moved by John’s Gospel chapter 17:20-26 in which Jesus prays for unity “..that all of them may be one Father….”. It’s a prayer yet to be answered in many places. It calls us to reflect on our openness and value for one another and to seek again those areas of common ground.

This Church is made up of people from many denominations which provide a healthy outlook on ecumenism. We have given a lot of support to CTIS over the years and we are open to new avenues of being together. If we lose the means to share with others in Faith though it will be a sad day for Christians in this valley.

Best Wishes   

Brian