Following a meeting of church leaders in Dunkeswell on Wednesday 18th November, a new ecumenical group has been formed covering the Blackdown Hills and representative of all the main denominations. Springing from an initial idea by Steven Reed, Pastor of Hemyock Baptist Church and co-sponsored by local Anglican Vicar David Sherwood, over 30 leaders met to consider the opportunities presented under the new organisation called “Christians Worshiping Together in the Blackdown Hills” (CWTBH). “The aim of the new organisation is to encourage, challenge and bless Christian believers in the Hills” said Steven Reed. To that end, there will be a series of regular major celebration and other coordinated events. The first of these will be held in Dunkeswell on 30th January when nationally recognised author and conference speaker Adrian Plass will be a guest speaker.
Speaking after the first meeting of CWTBH, special guest Bishop Bob Evens expressed his approval. “I am delighted to be part of this exciting programme in the Blackdown Hills which is drawing people together from their different communities and churches to celebrate the many gifts that God has given us. We will find renewed encouragement and fresh vision as we come together and share how God is at work right across this wonderful area”.
Another guest, Regional Baptist Minister Jez Brown said “I warmly commend this exciting initiative to all churches located within the Blackdown Hills. When Christians commit to working together in fellowship and unity in the task of making God known within our communities, He loves to bless such endeavours.”
Among the suggestions made for a possible ongoing programme was an inter-church BBQ for summer 2010, a universal web site for ‘Hills’ churches, open air services, concerts and bible teaching weeks.