Following prayers, Michael was re-elected as chairman for the third year and Mabel Boyd as vice-chair and Margaret Cassidy as secretary. Graham Fuller is continuing as acing treasurer, but a full-time replacement is needed.
The Revd Robert Weston of Park URC in east Reading was elected as a trustee to the Reading Faith Forum, replacing the Revd Nigel Hardcastle who has retired.
Following the treasurer’s report Michael Penny gave his chairman’s report.
He first expressed sadness at the passing of Owen Jewiss, who made a remarkable contribution, in a number of ways, to ecumenism, to the debate on climate change, and in his campaigning for debt relief in the Jubilee 2000 campaign.
Michael also shared some of his highlights from a busy year (see below)
At last year’s AGM it was proposed that CTR organise a Chaplains’ Group. It launched in March and will meet again later this month.
This lead into reports from groups, starting with three chaplains: the Revd Pete Jarvis, chaplain at the John Madejski Academy, the Revd Rachel Wadey, chaplain for the Berkshire Health Authority and based at Prospect Park Hospital and Una Chandler, Reading Council chaplain.
Keith Wilson reported from Churches Together in Earley and East Reading and how they are building up relationships in the community. This included a screening of the Olympic opening ceremony at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre.
St Andrew’s URC church on Reading’s London Road hosted an event when the Olympic Torch passed by in July.
Margaret Dimmick reported from Churches Together in Caversham. Activities included an open air service at this year’s Caversham Fest, followed by a holiday club for 150 children aged 4 to 11.
Robert Dimmick, chairman of the Reading Düsseldorf Association, appealed for anyone who would like to host some German Christians in 2014.
The Revd Robert Barthram reported on the work of Southcote Alive and the Revd Denis Smith on Tilehurst; both communities held a walk of witness on Good Friday and the Revd John Rogers held a service for the week of prayer for Christian Unity at St Michael’s in Tilehurst.
This is also to be the venue for a Songs of Praise being organised by Michael Penny at 6.30pm on Sunday, September 30. This service is open to all.
The Revd Peter Jarvis then shared about the Diamond Jubilee street party held in south Reading and the Olympic Torch which passed by St Agnes Church in Whitley en route to the Madejski Stadium.
There were also reports from groups associated with Churches Together in Reading. Tim Clewer reported on behalf of the Mustard Tree Foundation and the Reading Christian Ecology Link.
Ann-Marie Paterson reported on CCA and Mabel Boyd on Churches In Reading Drop in Centre and the Churches in Reading Women’s Centre.
Matt Hearn of Reading Street Pastors was unable to attend sent a written report. Matt has done a wonderful job with Street Pastors but is about to step down.
The last report came from Louise Cole, the County Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Berkshire. She was amazed at just how much goes on in Reading and just how well many different churches and many different Christians are working together.
Churches Together Reading chairman Michael Pennyshared some of his favourite things from the past year. These included:
• Spending a day with Ann-Marie Paterson and visiting nearly all of the CCA locations and realising just how much CCA does.
• Working with Phil Creighton in the build-up to the launch of Xn.
• Easter weekend when he joined Christians in Tilehurst for their walk of witness on Good Friday; Churches Together in Caversham for the Easter sing on the Saturday; and he led the Churches Together Easter Sunday morning service.
• He also presented Reading’s mayor with a Bible for Christmas and twice represented CTR on BBC Radio Berkshire, for the week of prayer for Christian Unity and for the Queen’s Jubilee.
Owen Jewiss’ contribution to ecumenism will be remembered with an annual memorial lecture on the anniversary of his death, Wednesday, October 24. This falls during the Reading International Festival and it will be included in the Festival programme.
The inaugural Owen Jewiss memorial lecture will take place at St Barnabas Church, Emmer Green.
The Revd Rosemary Fletcher, who knew Owen well, will give the lecture, provisionally titled The Role Of Ecumenism Is Advancing God’s Mission.