Church Working Party
Sorry, no photos to show, but a dozen or so church members and friends spent the morning working on tidying up the grounds and doing little jobs around the interior as well. Hedges were trimmed, weeds pulled up, roses pruned, carpets cleaned and floors sealed. It was hard work on a very hot day, but it was well worth it judging from the favourable comments we’ve heard since!
Something of an ‘innovation’ at Immanuel, our Outreach Committee organised a “Getting to Know you Better” afternoon for the whole church.
More than 70 members and friends dropped in during the course of the afternoon for a cuppa and a slice of cake and enjoyed an hour or so chatting. New friendships were made and old ones deepened.
Although we didn’t really need any entertainment, members of the Drama Group brought along some old photos to stir memories (and a few laughs as well!) and promote their latest venture planned for September. In addition, Muriel Baker also provided us with a range of photos from various events in the life of Immanuel over the years, so newer members were able to see the sort of things we got up to in the past!
Throughout the afternoon there was a constant buzz of conversation and it was quite evident that people really enjoyed themselves.
The result? lots of smiling faces and plenty of requests to do it again! So here’s to the next time!
The morning service saw the ordination of two new Elders at Immanuel – Roy Lowes and Eddie Thomas – you can see their photos on the “Who we are” tab under Immanuel United Reformed Church’.
April 19th: Church Annual General Meeting
Among the items of business at the church AGM were the re-appointment of Liz Gleed as our Church Secretary and the re-election of Maria Kawonga and Frances Strange as Elders. It is particularly pleasing to report that with the election of two new Elders, Roy Lowes and Eddie Thomas, the eldership is now the largest it has been for some years.
In the vote on whether to ask for authorisation of the Swindon Registrar to use Immanuel as a venue for same-sex weddings, although a majority of members was in favour, the necessary majority of 75% was not reached and as a result the motion was not passed.
One important decision was passed, however, and shortly the church will be asking our South West Synod for permission to make our own arrangements for the letting of our premises; this will regularise the legal status of the lettings process at Immanuel. A sub-committee will be formed to organise the necessary application.
April 1st: Easter Day
During the service, following a tradition that dates back some number of years at Immanuel, members of the congregation had been requested to bring a single bloom or small posy to decorate the old Christmas tree that had been turned into a very rough cross.
At the close of the service the cross was carried outside to spread the
message of the good news to passers-by and the locality around.
It seems odd to be writing about what turned out to be a “non-event” in this ‘Recent Events’ page! But it was a great pity that the joint act of worship planned with our friends from the Romanian Pentecostal Church had to be cancelled – the heavy fall of snow overnight on Saturday 17th meant that very few of them would have been able to attend and our numbers would have been greatly diminished as well. We are looking to identify a date not too distant to hold the service, so watch this space!
Right: prior to the service a vast number of posies had been prepared for distribution to all the ladies of the morning congregation.
During the morning service today Roy Lowes led us in some challenging prayers of intercession: at the request of several of the congregation here is a link to a pdf file that you may wish to read.
Not simply Immanuel, but the BBC’s “Songs of Praise” today in its programme on pioneering women in the church, it featured the story of Constance Coltman, the first woman to be ordained in the UK a hundred years ago by the Congregational Church. It was a fascinating item and included an interview with URC minister, Jenny Mills, and is certainly worth watching. If you have the facility at home, its definitely worth watching on ‘catch-up’.