Unity Post

Here we publish longer articles of record and blogs

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WYCT held its AGM on 15th March 2019. The meeting was chaired by the convenor, Bishop Tony Robinson.

The main speaker was Bishop Alison White of Hull. She made an inspiring description of the “Believe in Hull” event which also provided some helpful reflections on the future of organisations such as WYCT including a more informal approach, based on personal relationships and friendship. 80 churches linked with the City of Culture initiative in Hull. Much use was made of social media ……http://www.believeinhull.org.uk or Facebook @webelieveinhull for more of the flavour of events. The intention- a shared Christian festival- is not original, but the approach is up to date.

Members also reported on activity in theIr churches or areas- work together, and church planting. Leeds Catholic Diocese has cleared its substantial debt
Roger Walton’s farewell is on 23rd July.
Thy Kingdom Come is getting under way for Pentecost: there are “Inspire and Enable” training events now and more details of Beacon Events will follow.
WYCT intends to run meetings or groups on Receptive Ecumenism later in the year.
*Receptive Ecumenism is essentially very simple. Instead of asking what other traditions need to learn from us, we ask what our tradition needs to learn from them, what we can receive which is of God.
The assumption is that if all were asking this question seriously and acting upon it, then all would be moving in ways which would both deepen our authentic respective identities and draw us into more intimate relationships
The goal of traditional ecumenism, visible unity through theological and ecclesial convergence, is put aside in favour of an ecumenism of mutual enrichment and self-examination

Chair Appointed for Universities Chaplaincy Trust

THE UNIVERSITIES’ CHAPLAINCY IN LEEDS TRUST: CHAIR

The Chaplaincy serves four large, dynamic and differing institutions, the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Arts University and The University of Law, Leeds. The Chaplaincy Trust has responsibility for oversight, management, encouragement and support of an ecumenical chaplaincy team of full-time and part-time chaplains representing eight Christian denominations.
The chair provides active leadership of the Trust and be the main point of contact with denominational leaders and the senior management of the universities. You would have a commitment to Ecumenical Christian Chaplaincy and an understanding of its place in Higher Education. You would bring strategic awareness, management and team-building skills. The commitment is likely to be around 30 voluntary (part) days per annum.

We are pleased to say that Prof Peter Howdle was appointed, following this process and is now in post. The oversight of the process is in the hands of WYCT.

WYCT Administrator’s Report for 2018/19

Meetings: Three Forum meetings have been held this year. One of these was an overnight at The Briery in Ilkley. This had spiritual input from Fr George Guyver from Mirfield and a showing of Summer in the Forest (A modern film about L’Arche) with input from Jody Gabriel who has worked at L’Arche and runs projects for people with disabilities. At another Forum we heard about ecumenical initiatives in Skipton.

We have also had a limited number of separate meetings for DEO’s -mostly concerning LEP’s- and an Away Day for DEO’s at the Carmelite Monastery at Wood Hall. CTE arranged a meeting for Northern Intermediate Bodies (like WYCT) at The Briery. I attended the CTE Triennial Forum at Swanwick (which was worthwhile) and the Jubilee meeting of the Association of Interchurch Families also at Swanwick. I also attended the Diocese of Leeds (A) Consultation on Prayer and Spirituality in June at Church House Leeds and two other meetings at Church House on the use of social media.
Despite we also propose to hold meeting(s) on Receptive Ecumenism in the autumn.

Preaching: Representing WYCT I was invited to preach at the annual service of Kirkburton Parish Church and its neighbours in July, and similarly at Wilsden in the autumn. Around Unity Week I preached at St John the Baptist Wakefield and Mirfield Churches Together (Salvation Army) I am quite happy to receive other invitations.

Communications: We operate a website and Facebook and Twitter pages. These are important to maintain a presence in the area. I also produce this occasional Newsletter which is e-mailed to church leaders and all the CT’s we know about.

Leeds University Chaplaincy will be reappointing a Trustees Chair this Spring and WYCT has to facilitate. We look forward to promoting “Thy Kingdom Com” at Whit.

AIF weekend 12 – 13 October 2019

The theme of the Association of Interchurch Families gathering, held at Swanwick over the weekend of 12th and 13th October 2019, was “Spiritual Conversations”. It was inspired by the guidelines on sharing communion produced by the German Catholic bishops. In the document they suggested that couples should have a spiritual conversation with their bishop. The expectation is that these conversations would lead to a pastoral response. Paul Docherty the chair of the association with assistance from Ruth Reardon spoke about the background to the guidelines and the latest news from the international situation.

Two couples, who had communicated with Ruth as she gathered stories on spiritual conversations which have taken place in this country, spoke of the joy and blessings through talking to their bishops and priests.

The weekend was underpinned by prayer and two communion services which are always special. There were also particular highlights, the first was a Bible Study led by Jenny Bond which was a reflection and exploration of the wider significance of the Emmaus journey from Luke 24 with particular reference to a mural painting by Maximino Cerezo Barredo in the dining room of a Training Centre of Community Animators peasants in Panama. The depiction of them not recognising Jesus until the breaking of bread by bandages over their eyes was particular inspiring.

The other highlight was an Ignatian Spiritual Exercise facilitated by Dominic Robinson SJ. Participants were asked to spend five minutes asking for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to show what they felt and thought deep down about the lack of younger people at the weekend. In pairs one listened while one expressed carefully what feelings and thoughts they had. The listener did not interrupt but listened and gave feedback on what they heard. Both partners did this and then in silence and together discovered  the points of consolation and desolation.

There was also a short but moving service where a picnic table in memory of members who are now deceased was blessed for use by visitors to Swanwick.

Helen & Richard Connell

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