When St. Alban’s Parish Plan was developed building a strong ecumenical contact with fellow Christians in Chaddesden, Oakwood and Derwent was one of the tasks we set ourselves.
Most of our ecumenical activities are centered on The Church on Oakwood, simply because this is where Christians of any denomination can come together in the same building to share worship, learning events and social events, and also, there is a regular Sunday mass. As a result of this close proximity a strong group of people from all denominations – “The Partnership Group” – has developed and meets regularly to plan ways of encouraging all our
parishioners to work and pray together. We come together for special feasts – Christian Unity, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and at our shared Christmas Carol Service, as well as meeting on the first Wednesday of every month for a Shared Evening Prayer Service (a short service led by members of the group). All these services are advertised at both churches and are open to anyone wishing to join us. Likewise our social events – Harvest Supper, Advent activities and our annual Lent course are supported by both communities.
We still continue to make contact with the churches in Chaddesden and Derwent and hope that one day these links will be as strong. To date the only activity we share with these churches is the traditional Walk of Witness on Good Friday, although we occasionally have visitors to our Christian Unity Service. So this area does need some work – and some inspiration!
When the Derby Deanery Council was set up it also saw Christian Unity as an important part of Catholic life and so created an Ecumenical Sub-Committee to help bring the parishes within the Catholic Deanery together to share experiences and best practice, and twice yearly all our parish/ecumenical representatives gather together to do exactly that. We hope to bring you a flavour of our ecumenical activities as and when they happen – so keep looking!