This is a first in what I hope will become a regular communication to keep everyone informed on decisions we have made towards merging Stoke Chapel and Hocking Road, Wyken. And to share questions we need to answer together.

So First -Some dates for your diaries

10:30 am 31 January 2016 – a Joint Service at Hocking Road followed by a short Joint Church Meeting that will look for a consensus (or at least a shortlist) on a name and listen to views on progress so far.

10:00am 19 June 2016 – The final Service as Wyken United Reformed Church. A Communion Service led by Craig.

10:30am  26 June 2016 – Final service at Stoke Chapel. A Communion Service led by Craig. (No service at Hocking Road).

Saturday 2nd July – Margaret Botterill organising a party at Stoke.

10:30am Sunday 3rd July – First Service of the Merged Church. A Communion Service led by Craig.

10:30am will become our normal start time for Sunday Morning.

Elders have not discussed but at Church Meeting Craig will suggest that 2nd Sunday becomes our normal Communion Sunday as there tend to be less clashes with holiday weekends than occur on a 4th Sunday.

Synod Decisions

The Synod Pastoral Committee have concurred with our decisions to merge the churches.  Synod Trust have agreed to the sale of Harefield Road and will instruct an agent. They have also agreed that the money from the sale of Harefield Road can be used to re-order Hocking Road and to seek shop premises in Stoke. We need to do so within 5 years.

Elders Decisions

The Elders have had one joint meeting and have set meeting dates for  15 Feb, 4 Apr, 6 June but will communicate in-between as necessary.

Craig will meet with organists, Over 50’s/Senior Fellowship, Womens Own, Coffee ’n Chat to work out future plans.

Craig, Roger and Tony will draft a new Constitution.

Tony will liaise with Charity Commissioners.

Nigel and Caroline will discuss merging finances – when and how.

Ray and Mary will discuss Pulpit Supply.

The furniture we will keep from Stoke, will be the new chairs, the coffee tables and cabinet from the lounge, the Go-pack tables, the piano, the prayer table, Margaret’s pictures. Which means that at Wyken we will dispose of the metal framed chairs and the trestle tables, but still need to make decisions on other items.

Communion Furniture 

There is a view that we should dispose of both communion tables, all chairs and lecterns and make a fresh start. There is a view that we should keep one or another. There is a view that we ask a carpenter to merge them into something new. We will listen to views when we meet together on 31 January.

Naming our New Church!

We need something that is distinctive and descriptive and that could also be used at Ball Hill. We need something we are happy with and can help us create a distinct image. The header that Craig has used on the first page and at Joint Services shows how we can sub-title as “The United Reformed Church in Stoke and Wyken” and therefore describe our denomination and location without needing to put that in the title. The suggestions so far are :-

  • Ansty Road

Official address is 210-214 Ansty Road

  • Caludon Chapel

Castle, School and the name used by the Anglican Parish.

  • Wyken and Stoke United Church
  • Stoke and Wyken United Church
  • Stoken
  • East Coventry

Hopefully all self-explanatory!

  • New Chapter

A fresh beginning for us and for anyone who joins with us

  • Labyrinth

We will continue to develop our use of the Labyrinth

  • Apple Tree

We are growing one, some biblical imagery.

  • The Well

Meeting place, refreshment, lots of biblical imagery

  • Shepherd’s Chapel

We follow the Shepherd, and Luke 2:10-14 tells shepherd story and link to address above.

  • Martha Chapel

A biblical character who creates welcome

  • Bethany Chapel

biblical place of welcome, learning and resurrection – home to Martha, Mary and Lazarus

  • Barnabas Chapel

biblical character who encourages and reconciles

  • Sanctuary Chapel

Place of worship, safety, renewal

  • United Christian Chapel

We are a united, Christian place of worship

  • United Christian Ministries

our purpose is to bring Christian ministry

  • United Christian Fellowship

we are a Christian fellowship

  • Imagine!

I’ve been using this as a space saver, challenge, question, but it’s grown on me as a possible name that can be played with in many imaginative ways.

  • Community Chapel

A community of disciples serving local communities.

  • Immanuel Chapel
  • Christ’s Chapel

These names have been reproduced on a separate sheet. Please circle up to three that you would be happy with or add another. Put your completed sheet in the box left at each church and we will see if a couple of names emerge as favourites and hope to create a shortlist by the time we meet on 31 January. If any additional names are suggested we will gauge opinions on 31 January to see if they will be added to the shortlist.

And for those who aren’t happy with any of these names – some thoughts that have come to me whilst typing, Caludon means Bald Hill and we also want to establish something on Ball Hill – is there a play on Hill we could use? Is there an old name for the whole hill that is now Walsgrave & Ansty Roads?

The Sowe Valley loops around our area .

Our mission priorities talk about Welcoming, Praying, Celebrating, Growing, Encouraging, Witnessing

We have a rare opportunity to bring fresh ideas. Be prayerful, imaginative and think to the future.

CNM 2 January 2016

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