Country Visits: The Churches of Wellington Cooperating Together
As part of the commitment to visit regional and rural areas of the state, members of the NSW Ecumenical Council’s Executive visited the Central West of NSW during August and met with members of the Wellington Ministers Association.
The Anglican and Catholic churches had signed a Covenant in 2010, precursor of the Diocesan Covenant, signed in 2012. Fr Tim Cahill was a prime mover in each Covenant. Many of the activities in Wellington involve the other churches, who have also gained benefit from the Covenant.
All churches support the SRE Teacher at Wellington High School. During the recent long drought the churches of Wellington supported members of rural congregations who were suffering, and barbecues were held in several small communities. Weekly news sheets continue to list prayers for each of the churches in the town.
Annual Lenten Studies have involved Uniting, Anglican and Catholic people. A Maundy Thursday service was a joint effort of the Anglican and Uniting Churches. Anglicans and Catholics have held joint parish council meetings. The Way of the Cross has been a shared commemoration, and worship for the Week of Prayer has been held each year.
The compassion and support of each other was very obvious during our meeting, and the ministers are true partners in giving pastoral ministry to the whole community. Discussion of issues such as “What do you do when a person knocks at your door?” enables coordinated responses. Ecumenism is alive and well in this community.
In Blayney we met with Fr Tim Cahill (Catholic), and Rev Anastasia (Anglican). Over lunch we heard of the growing cooperation within their parallel parishes and plans for moving towards a local covenant between the churches. There is great unity in spirit in this small community.
Sharing - Newsletter of the NSW Ecumenical Council
Issue 5, October 2013