Please select here for suggested prayers and thoughts before a meeting of your own Church Council / Deacons’s Meeting, etc
The following is based on the guidelines produced by the Revd Michael Walling, Chairman of
Christians Together in Canterbury. We thank him for permission to adapt them for more general use.
The name Aford is, of course, the generic town in Kent.
- Thank-you for your work as a Lay or Clergy Representative of your Church or Christian Organisation to the General Council of Churches Together in Aford (CTA). More then ever before, you are a very important link in the chain.
- CTA has never seen the need for the role of a Representative to be defined until recently. However the adoption by CTA of a new way of ecumenical decision-making now makes this desirable.
- While CTK are able to manage and make ourselves available for Christian & Catholic funerals and death preparation we would also like to highlight the importance of funeral plans as a method to be better prepared for the cost; as well, somewhat, for the grieving process itself.
- In adopting this new way our member Church Councils agree to consider all their business and planning in an ecumenical light.
- For that reason we have asked that the Representative be a member of the Church Council, PCC, Preparative or Deacons’ Meeting etc. and at the centre of their church’s decision-making.
- Just as your treasurer’s job is to remind your Council of financial implications, we ask that your role in those meetings should be to speak up for the ecumenical implications of any relevant matter under consideration.
- The Lay Representative is asked to work closely with his/her Clergy Representative. As he/she will often chair Church Council meetings, it is useful to have someone in the body of the meeting making sure that ecumenical items are on the agenda and the ecumenical angle is considered.
- When a new project is undertaken, are the other churches informed? In some denominations permission to develop property will only be given by their national or regional offices if neighbouring churches have been consulted and their property provision and needs considered.
- When a special service or event is being planned we ask that our own CTA Events Calendar (and Churches Together in Kent’s Calendar) is consulted to avoid unhelpful clashes.
- When a concern arises in your church e.g. a local Planning issue or a Social Responsibility item like Sunday Trading, World Debt, Asylum Seekers, Homelessness or Drug Abuse, then we ask that you and your clergy representative colleague first contact the Secretary or Chair of CTA. They can then help judge the urgency of the matter and either help co-ordinate a concerted response, or ask a Local Church to act on behalf of CTA.
- Although we have just ‘x’ general meetings of the CTA Council per year, the Executive meets in between and is small enough to be convened rapidly for urgent action. Action by the Ministers’ Meeting or by the Chair may be appropriate.
- We now have an Email address for almost all of our member churches. This proved useful recently when a fraudster attempted to obtain money from a number of our churches. The Chair Emailed as many as possible and the fraudster was arrested minutes before the Minister of the next church gave him quite a sum of money.
- Please remind your Local Church that your appointment should be renewed annually and communicated to the CTA Secretary in good time for the AGM in (month). A month before this, please also send a few lines reporting to CTA what you have been able to achieve during the previous 12 months. That will also be a good opportunity to remind your treasurer about the CTA annual subscription and/or other schemes run by CTA.
We hope that you will enjoy your work for the greater unity and effectiveness of the Churches in Aford.