Northern Diocese Synod and the 150th Anniversary of Tottington Church
On April 20th, the Revd Dr Peter Leithart was the speaker of a conference organized by St John’s with Trinity Church in conjunction with the twice-yearly Clergy Conference of the Diocese. In this event, Dr Leithart interacted with the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon of the FCE Diretor of Training and Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells, and the Rt Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden, Missionary Bishop of the Christian Episcopal Church. It was a honest and open conversation with contributions from the floor.
The Synod of the Northern Diocese of the Free Church of England met on Saturday 21st June. Bishop John gave a report on his ministry since the last Synod. Encouraging reports from the churches were shared. Laity and clergy were elected to various Diocesan offices and to the General Council. A number of visitors were present to show support for the FCE.
Later that day there was a special service to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the consecration of St John’s Church in Tottington with the Mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury as guest of honour. It was a very special & moving service in the newly renovated church. Bishop Paul Hunt and members of the Southern Diocese were present, as were representatives of the local Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches. Mr Peter Boyd, the architect of the project, spoke of the history of the building and its significance. Lessons were read by Mr Neil Turner and Mrs Kim Griffiths, trustees of the Friends of St John’s Tottington. Bishop John preached from the Book of Nehemiah, stressing the vision that the FCE’s founders have passed on to us, namely to rebuild the waste place of Jerusalem in our own day.
Thanks be to God for all these years of witness. The Free Church of England is a story of God’s grace, as we continue to witness to the risen Christ.