Churches Together in Merton Park

Members of the Churches Together in Merton Park committee met four times throughout the past year. The main events of the past year are as follows:

Autumn Event

The Autumn event focused on the Christian CARE Annual General meeting which took place on the 11th November at Morden Baptist Church. Following the business session there was an in-house presentation by volunteers and former clients of Christian CARE on the theme "Home, sweet home?". Director of Commonside Community Development Trust Naomi Martin spoke about the lack of suitable housing in Merton to meet the demands. She answered many questions from those present.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25th January)

This year's Unity Service was held later in the year on the 10th May, 4pm at St John's Fisher Church. Canon O'Toole, the Roman Catholic Ecumenical officer spoke on the theme 'The Well is Deep' . During the service there was a generous offering for the work of Christian Aid at the start of Christian Aid week.

The Seder meal, 2016

The proposed date for the Lent Seder meal is between 1st and 17th March 2016 led by a member of the Synagogue in Richmond. It will be a symbolic meal and probable venue will be at Martin Way Methodist Church.

Easter Sunrise Service

It has been a tradition since 2005 to celebrate Easter with a Sunrise service on Cannon Hill common. Despite the cold weather the small group met at 6 30am on 5th April to celebrate the start of Easter Day, and give thanks for the most important Christian event. Rev Keith Mitchell from Merton Park Baptist Church shared communion and an Easter message.

Christmas Leaflets

As in previous years the CTiMP have produced leaflets with a Christmas message and including a list of Christmas services held in each church. The leaflets will be distributed to about 8,000 homes in Merton Park. The committee are extremely grateful to the many volunteers from each church who have given of their time to distribute these in the past.

Christian CARE

Christian CARE have had a very busy year with more referrals made than in previous years. Gillian gives an updated report to the committee at each meeting. 'Housing for Women' is now managing the 'Refuge in Merton' and is looking to Christian CARE for short-term support as new families arrive without benefits and have to settle into an unfamiliar area. More volunteers are needed to meet the demand especially families in crisis. A family support organiser is still required and someone to coordinate and organise the camps. The furniture project and the distribution of baby and children's clothing have been exceptionally busy. One family had a wonderful holiday in Butlins and over 26 children went to Falcon camps this summer. The churches represented all made significant donations of foods during the year which has been greatly appreciated.

Future plans and dates for your diaries:

Taize Autumn meetings Monday 14 December, shared Advent meal at 22 Aylward Road, Spring dates; 11 January, 8 February and 21 March 2016 at St John Fisher RC Church 8pm

Rev. Canon Dr Jim Rosenthal will be licensed as the new Priest in Charge at St James' Church, Merton on January 6th 2016 (Feast of the Epithany) at 8pm. There will be a reception to follow and all are welcomed.

Christian CARE New Year Party will be held on the 30th January 2016 at Martin Way Methodist Church.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service will be held at St James' Church. Date to be confirmed.

The Women's World Day of Prayer services on Friday 4th March 2016 will be held at Merton Park Baptist Church, Botsford Road at 11am and the evening service at Holy Trinity, Wimbledon Broadway at 8pm.

Easter Sunrise service 27th March 2016 at Cannon Hill Common.

The next meeting of CTiMP is on Thursday 19th November 2014 and 7th January 2016 at 104 Grand Drive, SW20 at 8pm.

Martin Way Methodist church do not have a Churches Together representative at present. Please prayerfully consider if this worthwhile role is for you.

Gwen Wildman