Christians on Ageing Newsletter
Easter Season Treat (mailchi.mp)
A rock rolled to one side leaving an empty space in a garden smelling of morning.
The story is so familiar still, despite the bunnies, the eggs, the bonnets and parades. The sense of absence first felt by the women who came to anoint the body of Jesus could easily be felt by many of his followers in our day and age. All the hope we build up from hearing his words left hanging in the air, a promise unfulfilled. Except, we now know what was round the corner, the gentle voice which broke the silence and the fear, the familiar words of greeting and the simple message: I am still with you.
In each generation there will be times when we need to hear that voice again, with a clarity and strength enough to fill the absence we might feel. Now is such a time. Our generation has lived through hope, the hope that humans – with all their failings – were at last beginning to prefer peace to conflict, persuasion to confrontation, and active care for the poor to the selfish pursuit of riches. A rude shattering challenged the time of hope: financial arrangements in turmoil all over the world; a deadly pandemic creeping through every town and village; a mindless act of violent invasion against innocent people. Close to home, there has been severe disruption to social cohesion and solidarity, growing evidence and experience of poverty, and a growing bewilderment by many of how we can get out of the mess we seem to have created.
It is difficult to believe that the Lord is still with us sometimes. There is only one thing to do: capture again the moments of realisation in the garden of the empty tomb and listen again to the first words of the risen Lord. “Do not be afraid. Tell my friends to meet me in Galillee”. And then, when gathered there he said:
“Be assured. I am with you always, to the end of time”.
What better topic, then, could we have had for our AGM lecture than the one chosen by our guest speaker? The wisdom gathered from many years of listening to the faith experiences of older people is just what we need. We are not the first Christians to feel overwhelmed and in need of mighty help. The voices of older people, telling us about how their faith has survived, are part of that help. It is the tonic we need. A report of the AGM and the contribution of our guest speaker ill be available soon on our website.
Peter Coleman, Professor Emeritus, University of Southampton
“A reflection on 50 years’ experience of interviewing older people about their attitudes to the Christian faith.”
Peter Coleman, a renowned psycho-gerontologist, has been a supporter and friend of Christians on Ageing for many years.
Churches Together in England
Statement on the conflict in Ukraine
15 March 2022
CTE Forum is the broadest gathering of churches and Christian organisations in England,
gathering 52 national member churches, Christian organisations and intermediate
ecumenical bodies. Meeting at The Hayes, Swanwick on 14 – 16 March 2022, the Ukrainian
crisis was an urgent priority alongside its planned programme considering ‘Reconciling Hope
— A Broken Church for a Broken World’.
The Presidents of CTE and the Fourth Presidency Group made this statement on behalf of
the whole of Forum.
As 300 delegates from 52 national Member Churches, numerous Christian organisations and
ecumenical bodies from across England, we call for the immediate cessation of hostilities,
the withdrawal of invading forces and the observance of the Geneva Conventions.
In this holy season of Lent, we call upon churches everywhere to campaign for an immediate
end to the war in Ukraine, and to proclaim the dignity of every human life, whatever its
We welcome and commend the extraordinary efforts of countries neighbouring Ukraine in
receiving refugees from the war and call on the UK and the whole of Europe to follow their
example. We support every measure to protect the most vulnerable.
We commit ourselves to pray for the nations of Russia and Ukraine, our own Government
and people, and for all who find themselves refugees, or bereaved, wounded or destitute.
May Christ have mercy upon our world.
Rev Dr Paul Goodliff
General Secretary of Churches Together in England
email@example.com or 07741 893141
Bishop Mike Royal
Incoming General Secretary of Churches Together in England
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07967 368350
Notes to editors:
Churches Together in England (CTE) is the national ecumenical instrument supporting and
encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity. CTE brings
together 52 national Member Churches. With churches drawn from the Anglican, Catholic,
Pentecostal, Charismatic, Orthodox and Lutheran traditions, as well as Free Churches,
Quakers and others. CTE unites one of the broadest range of churches in the whole of
Europe. Read more about CTE.
CTE Forum takes place every three years. It was postponed from 2021 due the Coronavirus