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Coordinator’s Report for the 2020 AGM

Meetings: This was the year in which we agreed to revise our Constitution. This simplified the appointment of officers and the number of meetings in accordance with proposals in the last report. We intended to hold two Forum meetings in 2019/20. In one we heard from Greg Ryan on the topical subject of Receptive Ecumenism: this was much appreciated and we hope to do more on this topic.
Unfortunately Hinsley Hall was unable to finalise a booking with us in March us so we had intended to move next door to meet at St Columba’s URC church which looks to be a very promising venue for the future. Our DEO (Denominational Ecumenical Officer) Co-ordinator Glenn Coggins had intended a verbal report and discussion at the meeting so we will save that for safer days. I’m sure he will mention that we do not have enough DEO’s, whose job is not only guiding or unravelling Local Ecumenical Partnerships but are appointed by their own Churches to offer advice and resources for local ecumenism within our County Body. Can you help?
I attended national Meetings at Swanwick (CTE) Durham (Property) Westminster (Ecumenism) and High Leigh, Hoddesdon (CTE) I have been asked to be a member of the CTE Enabling Group for Yorkshire. This means that there is work to do and I had arranged to meet the General Secretary of CTE Paul Goodliff in April to discuss how we can improve the representation in Yorkshire. There are five “intermediate bodies” like WYCT in the county.
Jane and I helped welcome in the Churches Pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.
I also attended the Diocese of Leeds (A) Consultation on Prayer and Spirituality at Church House Leeds. CTE is still meeting, of course, via Zoom!

Preaching: Representing WYCT, I was invited to preach at the annual Yorkshire District Lovefeast and Communion service of the Moravian Church. In Unity Week I preached at St John the Baptist Wakefield.

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

Other Matters
WYCT is also happy to announce that it facilitated the appointment of Prof Peter Howdle as Chair of the Leeds Universities Chaplaincies Trust.
We should also note with sadness the death of Eva Pinthus who represented the Society Of Friends on WYEC for a a number of years. An obituary appeared in our May Newsletter
Administration: Expenditure for the Year amounted to £2004 including staging two conferences for the Forum & DEO’s. We are in a healthy financial state.
The Future:
We have also located original WYEC documents (see above) The last secretary of WYEC had deposited them in the old County Archive just before WYEC closed- and it immediately moved to the brand new Family History centre on Kirkgate, Wakefield where they are being catalogued. More importantly, I have located various versions of the Ecumenical Covenant, first signed by ten church leaders in the mid-eighties (and including then, the three Anglican Bishops and the two Methodist Chairs) Perhaps these still give an idea as to what WYCT- even on limited resources- is about.

People from many churches, including leaders, regularly meet together, pray together or talk together. It is no longer necessary to arrange regular meetings for the sole purposes of meeting, breaking down barriers and knowing others. We even meet by Zoom.

WYCT should always be a networking, co-ordinating organisation, maintaining contacts.
The fact that it exists means that it is a sign in West Yorkshire of the Gospel imperative to seek unity. There are now fifty different Christian Churches in England, and some means of communication and connection is essential.

One change in the updated constitution, mentioned last year was to change my title to “Coordinator” which seems more appropriate.

We talk now so much of the “new normal”: these are going to be times of change, of new wine and new ways. I hope that Christian unity will deservedly be an essential and logical sign of this normal. Christians must live as a community or communion. Division and the old suspicions and rivalries are of the past.

Nick Shields May 2020