Churches Together in Hawkshead (and surrounding area) is an informal ‘working together’ of churches, which has its origins in the relationship between Stephen Pye (previous Hawkshead vicar), Richard Hall (previous Methodist minister) and Kath Dodd (Baptist minister). We began to meet together regularly in 1999. We then formed a Churches Together Working Group. This was made up of members of the Methodist, Anglican and Baptist churches, although every effort was made to include those of other traditions e.g. Roman Catholic, Friends, and Orthodox. (In recent years we have been delighted to welcome a member of the Friends on to the Working Group). We started by meeting together for one or two joint services each year e.g. Bible Society Sunday, Harvest.
Over the years we have developed different ways of working together i.e. some things are jointly planned, whilst others are planned by one church with the other churches invited to join in.
We have also developed new ways of meeting and working together.
2. Courses: several Alpha courses, a Y course, Christianity Explored, and several Lent courses have been held over the years.
3. School Links: the three local ministers take it in turns to lead the assembly at the local primary school on a Thursday morning. For some years we also initiated, and arranged, an Education service which was held in the school (with the pre-school also taking part).
4. Talks: A variety of talks have been arranged e.g. ‘Is Wordsworth a Christian Poet?’, ‘Quakers, War and the Law’, ‘Personal reflections from Liberia’, ‘How holy is the Holy Land?’
5. Different types of service: A Healing Service is held in the Methodist Church on the first Sunday of each month. Taize - style services are held at intervals, and more recently we have held an Iona-style service.
6. Social Action: We are keen to express our Christian faith in social action. After some research we felt that one of the greatest needs in the area was for additional support for local young people. With the help of Young Cumbria, Hawkshead Youth Club was started, and ran for four years as a community project.
7. Environment: We also believe that Christians should have a concern for the environment. A series of events led to the formation of Esthwaite Green Link. This quickly became a community –owned enterprise.
There are more picture of the 2009 competiton here.
9. Pentecost Service: This is jointly planned, and together we celebrate the creativity of the Spirit through art forms such as music, drama and art.
10. Week of prayer for Christian Unity: The local churches take it in turns to host the Unity service. We also share an evening meal together at some point in the ‘week’.
We have no formal working arrangement, but this hasn’t hindered our co-operation. We have discovered that working together is enriching - we learn from each other, our faith is deepened, and we have a more effective voice in the local community.