Our church is active in many areas of outreach. Some of these are mentioned below:
Our Christian Aid support has both been maintained and expanded during this last year of fund raising. Door to door collection has diminished but the sums of money raised for this cause have increased by organising plant stall sales, the sale of hand-made cards and an exhibition was held during the summer concerning the plight of displaced people around the world numbering tens of millions of people. This was a photographic exhibition telling the individual stories of people from various countries who are enduring this dreadful situation.
The main function of the weekend was to raise awareness of the 40 million people who are internally displaced within their own countries by famine, fear, conflict and climate change. The UN and its member states are currently working on two new agreements on refugees and migration, yet neither will tackle the problems of internal displacement. It is hoped by raising awareness that this issue will become more prominent on the world agenda.
A most informative talk was given by Christian Aid’s Regional Controller Adrian Whalley on his recent visit to Colombia meeting people who are living in this precarious position. He was, as always, an excellent speaker and led our worship on that Sunday morning. The exhibition lasted a full three days.
Elmhurst Care Home
Since the early spring services have been led by our Minister and supported by members of the Eldership at the local Elmhurst Care Home. These services are proving popular with the residents and their staff of carers who join us for the service there. We are continuing to develop relationships with the residents who despite being frail have maintained their faith and join in with enthusiasm with the hymns sung. All who participate are enjoying the experience, whether those who are organising the service or the residents participating.
Our church currently has three representatives on the Churches Together in Bishop’s Stortford Forum, and one member of the congregation who is the Christian Aid representative is an Associate Member. We at Water Lane have offer our premises as the venue for the joint service on Good Friday each year. We have members of our congregation who help at Holiday Bible Week and attend other activities arranged by Christians Together in Bishop’s Stortford.
Commitment for Life
Our United Reformed Church has a national fund raising programme called Commitment for Life – it involves us being linked this coming year with a new partner. After many years of supporting Palestinian farmers and the unique difficulties of that troubled area we have now decided to support partners in Central America namely in Guatemala, Nicaragua , Honduras and El Salvador– via Christian Partners working in the field. Education, tax justice, malnutrition and climate change issues are some of the problems we will be learning about in greater detail and sending financial support to combat these situations.
Our WEBS pastorate (West Essex and Bishop’s Stortford) comprising Clavering (Church of England, the Methodists and United Reformed Church), Saffron Walden & Newport, Stansted Free Church (Methodists and United Reformed Church) and Water Lane Church in Bishop’s Stortford meet for occasional worship together and for joint Bible studies in the summer and autumn of each year. The leaders of the churches meet together for mutual support and there are opportunities for joint social events too.