Monthly newsletter

Dear Friends

As we enter the month of October, the date of October the 10th is an important one for all of us connected with Cartway.  On that day we shall welcome Revds. Rachel Parkinson and Steve Faber to lead our Service of Thanksgiving for the past years of URC - Methodist Partnership in Bridgnorth. We shall also enjoy the presence of other church leaders, local church representatives and friends to give thanks to God for nearly 60 years of shared witness.

That the years have been blessed will be in the minds of all of us on that day.  When the availability of ministers from both our denominations was greater, the traditions of both churches have been expressed in ourworship, in pastoral care and nurture, and in the way both denominations have influenced our mission and evangelism by beingable to usually alternate which denomination provided ordained ministry. We have also benefitted from the inspiration from both churches as we have been able to draw on each of their national resources, programmes and initiatives.

In more recent years, the inability to maintain the balance of ministry and input from both denominations has had an effect on Cartway’s sense of identity. There has also been a change in the numbers of members from each denomination, with fewer URC members than previously and with the church becoming more reliant on the Methodist Circuit.  As one person put it, over the last few years Cartway has become a Methodist congregation in all but name.

From September the 1st we have been Cartway Methodist Church, but we have become this only because the past has been helped by having the partnership with our URC brothers and sisters, and the evolving of the present work and witness built on the foundations that were the partnership even though the circumstances and relationship with both our churches have now changed.

So I invite us all to give thanks to God that when the time was right our URC and Methodist predecessors recognised an opportunity to share resources for the work of Cartway. Let us rejoice in the richness of our past, shared experiences and the gifts of past ministers and leaders. Let us dedicate ourselves to the future knowing that while circumstances and resources have changed and denominational allegiances may differ, God is as much in the changes as God was in the continuums and will continue to guide and inspire us, however different church relations may be and whatever it involves in being One in Christ Jesus.

With my prayers and good wishes,