“In order to unite with one another, we must love one another; in order to love one another, we must know one another; in order to know one another, we must go and meet one another” wrote the Belgian RC scholar Cardinal Desire Mercier in 1920.
He was something of a lone voice in the early 20th century. For centuries the the Christian church had been torn apart by divisions which were the result of the Reformation.
Nevertheless, after World War 2, relations between the denominations began to improve and Churches Together in England was founded in 1990. It is a visible sign of the Christian Churches’ commitment to proclaiming the gospel by witnessing and working together to the glory of God.
“Churches Together in Saddleworth (CTIS)” was set up in the same year as the national organisation. The different Christian denominations (15 churches representing 5 denominations) in our area are committed to acting and worshipping together. As worshipping communities, we have not lost our distinctiveness, but we believe that unity is strength and that our common purpose is to make Christ known in the Saddleworth area.
CTIS churches and people are committed:
· to seek a deepening of their relationship with Christ, and with one another, in the Church which is his body, and
· to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world to the glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Every church in the Saddleworth area is invited to be represented at our meetings, which take place every 3 months, where we plan and prepare for local joint activities.
Examples of joint local activities include:
· Joint services (A joint service held every 4 years, usually in the Civic Hall in Uppermill; with village services in the years between)
· The Lent course
· Joint services during Holy Week and for Ascension Day
· Bible studies
· Theological discussion group
· Prayer breakfasts
· “Christmas Angels in Uppermill” (Angels across Saddleworth will appear at Christmas 2018)
· Street Pastors (A local scheme is in the process of being established)
Everyone is warmly invited to take part in these activities.
CTIS is not just concerned with the local, but has a concern for the needs of people across the country and overseas, with support for:
Local food banks.
Christian Aid & CAFOD
CTIS also holds the annual “One World Fair” at Sacred Heart in Uppermill
Psalm 133 “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell in unity”
Events this Autumn
One World Fair: Saturday 3rd November, 10am to 4pm at Sacred Heart
Prayer Breakfast: Saturday 17th November - Uppermill Methodist Church, 8.30am-10.00am
We hope to see many of you at one or both of these events.
Susan Titmuss President (CTIS)