Changeover in South London
Easter Sunday marks the retirement of John Richardson, long-standing Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in South London. John has had a long and varied ecumenical experience, including a stint as acting General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
John is succeeded by Claire Crowley. Together they have written to the churches and ecumenical groups in South London:
Greetings from Churches Together in South London (CTSL) in Holy Week. We trust that whatever you are doing to mark the death and resurrection of Christ will bring great blessing.
This letter is jointly written by two of us - John Richardson and Claire Crowley - as a `good-bye and thank you' from one Ecumenical Officer and a `hello and looking forward to seeing you' from another.
So, first from me, John, as I step down from the post on 5 April - Easter Day, but chosen as it is the end of the tax year! It has been a great privilege to be with CTSL for the past ten years. I value the opportunities I have had to promote the unity of Christians in this fascinating part of God's Kingdom and to meet so many of you who have shared in that task. I cherish my memories of conversations, meetings, fellowships, services, gatherings for prayer, occasions for business, serious times, fun times, and much more. Many thanks for being companions in our continuing ecumenical pilgrimage. It was particularly good to see so many of you at the recent Forum when we reflected together on where ecumenism has got to and where it is going. I am just completing a report of the meeting and Claire will make it available in due course.
I am delighted at Claire's appointment and assure her of my prayers when she takes over on 6 April. She brings new and different gifts to the role of Ecumenical Officer and I am confident that CTSL will continue to be one of the most highly-regarded ecumenical bodies in the country.
She now seamlessly takes over this letter!
Hello! Having been appointed just before Christmas, I am really looking forward to be taking on the role of Ecumenical Officer from Easter. I was born, grew up and have worked in South London, so I have a passion for this patch of God's kingdom and am glad to be able to learn more about all that is going on here. In recent years, I have been working in Paris and Namibia and before that was working in the UK dance sector and teaching Religious Studies in schools. I have a long standing relationship with Springs Dance Company, an inter-denominational Christian organisation that provides dance performances and education projects to resource the church.
I am a confirmed Roman Catholic and mother of one similarly baptised young lad. I have been fortunate in experiencing Christ in many different church contexts throughout my life, including the Catholic Cathedral in Namibia, the Pentecostal Church in the township of Windhoek, St Michael's Anglican Church in Paris, St Mary Moorfield's RC Church in the City of London, the Benedictine Community at Stanbrook Abbey, the Catholic Chaplaincy at Oxford University, and Crofton Park Baptist Church, and we now attend the Bear Community Church in Deptford.
In all these experiences I have enjoyed building relationships with churches of all denominations across the country and beyond. Now I look forward to getting to know more churches specifically on my turf! South London is such a treasure trove of people, communities and life - there are three million hearts beating side-by-side here and their combined rhythm is a unique sound for our area. As I prepare to serve these communities and yourselves, I would of course appreciate your prayers.
We close with the Pentecostal greeting that John has used frequently over the years - remain blessed!
Claire and John
Note - new CTSL contact details
Phone 07517 117982
Post Claire Crowley, CTSL, c/o Springs Dance Company, 65 John Kennedy Court, Newington Green Road, London N1 4RT