Welcome to our web site
We want to introduce ourselves! We are the Churches in and around Axminster, a beautiful small town in the heart of East Devon. Within this web-site you should be able to find the details of the worship services in all of our seven churches, and there are links too to those of us who have our own web-sites.
In this part of Devon we are the inheritors of a fascinating history of struggle to understand the reach and depth of the Christian Faith. Where there have been scars in the past, we are now in a period of discovering the truths and riches we have each treasured, and we are growing in love and trust for each other. We have regular occasions throughout the year when we all support each other.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is in January, not necessarily the best of weather! Our regular noonday meetings that week have been drawing increasing support from all the congregations, as we visit each church for short service throughout the eight days.
The first Friday in March is Women's World Day of Prayer. This is also well supported, organised by the women from the churches, but welcoming all who wish to attend.
The most dramatic time for us to come together is when we follow the cross up through the town each Good Friday, pausing to share the story of Christ's passion, completing the walk on the green outside the Minster Church in the centre of the town.
Where we can, we support each others initiatives with the children and young people of the town, and a team drawn from all the churches visit the local Residential Homes, leading worship in a different one each week.
The Axminster Job Club has arisen from an initiative supported by Churches Together, and this meets each week on a Thursday morning, and is being well used.
See the LINKS page for access its web-site.
Our Churches support a range of Christian initiatives abroad, but we all work together in May to support of the inclusive work of Christian Aid.
The Axe Vale Festival takes place just on the edge of the town in June, and the churches are working together to illustrate their involvement with the local community and to become more visible!
Traditionally there is a coach outing each autumn, which is a chance to broaden our horizons, and have a happy day out together.
At Christmas time the Ottery Salvation Army musicians visit the town on a market day, and we gather with them under the cedar tree on Minster Green to carol the townsfolk.
The Clergy Fraternal meet monthly for breakfast, and they have occasionally had an Awayday too!
Churches Together meets five times a year. A meeting to pray for the town and the Valley is held in the intervening months.
We thank Pulman's Press for the photo above. This was taken during our Good Friday Walk of Witness in 2012. A local family are seen carrying the cross, leading the procession of over a hundred silent walkers representing the denominations of the Church within our district.
What Does Love Require Of Us?
We live in a world of great need, with poverty and inequality exacerbated by economic crisis and the challenge of climate change. There is a need for the good news and the life of the kingdom to be brought to our nation and our world so that our own and future generations may live life in its fullness. There is much evidence of churches already working together, of local co-operation in projects and the building of strong and trusting relationships. We celebrate also the work on national projects and the reconciliation, which is happening between our churches. There is a call for us to find our courageous voice to speak out for the poor and the marginalised. Our ecumenical structures need to help churches to grow and to herald the kingdom, as well as moving to hold one another accountable.
There are still issues which divide us, in ethics and in faith and order issues. We need to celebrate each other and to accept the gifts which each brings. Our variety is a God-given gift which we need to appreciate and honour. We are all God’s children. Love requires us to listen to each other, to continue in dialogue even when it is difficult, to share what we have and to learn from each other’s traditions. We need patience and wisdom. We have a strong call to continue to work together but also to pray together.
We are not only called to be one but also sent to be one. This is risky, for we open ourselves to our lives and our churches being changed. We have to be able to confront our own churches and accept God’s challenges. But we are not alone. God journeys with us and the Holy Spirit holds us and leads us and provides for our needs. Love comes from God’s gift to us of himself. Let us receive it and live it together.
Minute of Churches Together in England Forum 2012
Janet Scott, moderator