Canton Churches marked the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation by holding a series of talks in the run-up to the 31st October. Each Monday night between 25th September and 23rd October one of several of the member denominations hosted a presentation on the theme, What has the Reformation Done for Us?
The series ended on 30th October with a Service of Celebration of Unity in our Differences, held at St Catherine’s (Church in Wales).
Feedback has been unanimously positive: “We learned a lot about our own denomination as well as getting to know more about others.”
Some members were able to attend the National Service of Commemoration and Commitment held at the Roman Catholic cathedral, Cardiff on the actual anniversary, Tuesday, 31st October.
The value of getting to know about one another’s beliefs and perspectives has been so appreciated that Canton Churches will follow up with a further series or event around next June to increase our mutual understanding. The development of reform and the experience of Vatican 2 reforms among Roman Catholics are topics that people are keen to explore.
The service at St Catherine’s was a moving experience of joint worship. This simple gathering would have been unthinkable not so long ago and it is encouraging to consider how, all across the world, Christians have marked the Reformation anniversary with demonstrations of solidarity and mutual support.
As Sam Patterson, an Anglican ordinand who helped organise the service said in his address: 'We cannot truly be united until we truly explore our differences. For it is in exploring our differences openly and honestly that rumours and myths are dispelled, that greater understanding is found and only then can we truly unite around the many things which we have in common'.
Good Friday - Cross Walk
At 12 noon on Good Friday - Christians from all over Canton walked together as a silent and visual witness to our faith and hope in Christ Crucified.
Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 5
The fifth and last of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at the Wesley Methodist Church, 453 Cowbridge Road East at 7:00pm on Monday 3 April 2017. This session’s theme was ‘The Crucified Jew’.
Methodist Minister, Reverend Paul Martin from the West Cluster of Churches in the Methodist Circuit of Cardiff led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then recapped on how the previous studies had looked at other faiths. He then spoke about the German Reformation leader Martin Luther’s ‘On the Jews and Their Lies’ a 65,000-word anti-Jewish treatise written in 1543 and said that historically anti-Jewish feelings were strongest at this time of year and told us the story of the ‘Wandering Jew’.
Martin recounted his time in North Devon during the time of the seventieth anniversary of Auschwitz where it was the custom for the newest minister to conduct the service after a procession and the readings were accusing of the Jews.
He then read the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 27 verses 15-26 ‘Jesus before Pilate’ and then we were asked to discuss the Passion story and Pontius Pilate's part, in small groups.
Martin said the Nazis used German Christian theology against the Jews and stated bad theology can kill. He posed the question are the lyrics to Sydney Carter’s hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’ anti-Semitic and conjectured that the holocaust was not Christian but that it might have been influenced by Christian anti Jewish views.
We then discussed how Christian festivals relate to Jewish festivals and Martin went on to say how the Christian New Testament can be painful for Jews. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams stated that all of us are persecuted at times and all of us are persecutors at times, except Jesus. Pope John Paul said Jews are our older brothers. He then went on to talk about the 1948 Palestine War and of Christian Zionists but stated that not all Jews are Zionists. Martin quoted Pope John Paul II that “The Old Covenant has Never Been revoked” and then spoke of Abraham.
Martin asked us to get to know people of other faiths and to look for things in common, as we have more in common than we might realise, he then closed the meeting with a prayer.
We then moved to the Foyer of the church where refreshments were served and we shared in a time of fellowship.
This session followed very closely the ‘Churches together in Britain and Ireland’ Week 5, Lent Course 2017 which can be seen by clicking on the following link: https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Lent-2017-Week-5.pdf
Written by David Foley
Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 4
The fourth of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at St John the Evangelist Church, in St John's Crescent at 7:00pm on Monday 27 March 2017. This session’s theme was ‘Greed, Non-Attachment and Compassion’ with particular reference to a section of the Sermon on the Mount that stresses the dangers of greed and love of money (Mammon). The nave of the church was arranged in a cafe church style with tables and chairs and a projection screen set up in the front and the speaker spoke from the lectern.
Ordinand (a person who is training to be ordained as a priest or minister) Samuel Patterson from the Church in Wales, Rectorial Benefice of Canton led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then looked at the scripture reading in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6, verses 19-33, where verses 19-24 are ‘Treasures in Heaven’ and verses 25-33 refer to ‘Do Not Worry’. Special emphasis was given to verses 21, 22 and 24 which were put up on the projection screen and we were asked to discuss these verses in our table groups. Samuel spoke of how these sayings from our passage hit hard. There are no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. Jesus does not say – ‘If you seek to gain wealth in order to share your wealth with others, that’s okay’ or ‘If you love your possessions but also try to serve God, that’s okay’. Rather Jesus points to a rather blunt either/or. The message is counter-cultural.
The next slide projection gave the heading ‘Why do we suffer’ with four statements which we were again asked to discuss in our groups. Samuel talked about this question from the Buddhist viewpoint and then compared this to the Christian view before displaying the next slide with verse 21 and the Buddhist equivalent next to it. The fourth and last slide listed four points for us to debate on the evening's subject matter. Samuel then gave a summation before closing the meeting with a prayer.
We then moved to the other end of the church where refreshments were served and we shared in a time of fellowship.
This session followed very closely the ‘Churches together in Britain and Ireland’ Week 4, Lent Course 2017 which can be seen by clicking on the following link: https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Lent-2017-Week-4.pdf
The last meeting in this series will be held at the Wesley Methodist Church Cardiff, 453 Cowbridge Road East, next Monday 3 April 2017 at 7:00pm.
Written by David Foley
Please join us on Good Friday this year as we walk from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Riverside to St Luke's Church near Victoria Park. Along the way we'll stop at each of the Churches who are members of Canton Churches Together (the route can be seen in the image below).
We meet at 12noon and will walk at a solemn pace in order to honour, remember and bear witness to the sacrifice Jesus made on the very first Good Friday when he carried his cross to the place of his death on Calvary hill. This will be a mostly silent witness of Christians coming together in unity to celebrate this key moment in the history of our salvation.
Please join us for as much of the route as you can. If that means joining us for the last few hundred yards that is absolutely fine with us - either way, we'd be glad to see you and walk with you even for a moment.
Please join us also for refreshments and hot cross buns at the end in St Luke's Church.
Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 3
The third of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at the Canton Uniting Church, on the corner of Cowbridge Road East and Theobald Road at 7:00pm on Monday 20 March 2017. There was a good attendance from the denominations within this group, for this session whose theme was Fasting.
Reverend Dr Tom Arthur, retired URC (United Reform Church) minister led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then looked at the scripture reading in the Gospel of Mark chapter 2: verses 18- 20, Jesus Questioned About Fasting. Tom poised the question to those attending, should we fast and went on to speak of fasting traditions in various denominations giving the example of the Roman Catholic practice of fasting since Vatican 2 and compared that to the fasting of other faiths such as the Muslim Ramadan.
We discussed how the date of Easter Day is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox and that Ramadan is also determined by the new moon. Tom asked how many days are there in Lent and we determined there were 40 fasting days plus the six Sundays which are feast days as they are Christ’s resurrection days. We also talked about what could be consumed during the fast and how they were to be broken.
It was asked if anyone had discussed fasting with Muslims and a few people shared their experiences. Fasting gives solidarity with those who suffer poverty and hunger, not through choice but by circumstance.
Tom talked about Christians4Ramadan where Christians had fasted during Ramadan and he also mentioned Brian McLaren who is a prominent Christian pastor, author, activist and speaker. Conversely there is also Muslims4Lent where in a show of solidarity, Muslims are standing with Christians and giving up guilty pleasures for Lent.
Tom read scripture from the Book of Isaiah chapter 58 verses 3-10, True Fasting. It was determined that fasts are not just periods of going without food but also times of intensified prayer, self reflection, intentionality and reading scripture.
We then heard an extract from Mary’s Song in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1 verses 52-53 and Tom went on to ask if we had any new thoughts about how we might include fasting in Lent that we didn’t have before.
He then read out the quote below from a Muslim lady Murva Tasman and asked us to repeat it after each line:
Be like the sun for grace and mercy
be like the night to cover another’s faults
be like the running water for generosity
be like death for rage and anger
be like the earth for modesty
appear as you are. Be as you appear.
The meeting was closed with prayer and was followed by a time of fellowship when refreshments were served.
The next meeting will be at St John the Evangelist Church, Canton in St John's Crescent, next Monday 27 March 2017 at 7:00pm.
Written by David Foley
Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 2
The second of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at the Calvary Baptist Church, 134 Cowbridge Road East at 7:00pm on Monday 13 March 2017. There was a good attendance from the various denominations, for this session whose theme was ‘The Remembrance of God’s name’.
Ordinand (a person who is training to be ordained as a priest or minister) Dominic Cawdell from the Church in Wales, Rectorial Benefice of Canton led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then looked at the scripture reading in the Book of Exodus, chapter 3, Moses and the Burning Bush. Dominic asked which name of God do we address our prayers to and we differentiated between Gods names and his titles. We discussed whether a name was important and the power in the name of God and also listened to a reading from Paul’s letters to the Philippians and went on to discuss how Jesus name was above all names. We then talked about how we could take our faith into the community of Canton. The meeting was closed with prayer and was followed by a time of fellowship when refreshments were served.
The next meeting will be at the Canton Uniting Church, on the corner of Cowbridge Road East/Theobald Road, next Monday 20 March 2017 at 7:00pm.
Written by David Foley
Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 1
The first of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at St Mary of the Angels Church Hall in Talbot Street at 7:00pm on Monday 6 March 2017. Deacon Professor Maurice Scanlon welcomed all those arriving and there were representatives from all the Christian denominations in the group ‘Churches Together in Canton’ i.e. Calvary Baptist Church, Canton Uniting Church, Conway Road Methodist Church, St Luke's Church, Canton, St John the Evangelist Church, Canton, St Catherine's Church, Canton, Cardiff Canton Salvation Army Corps, Cardiff SDA Church and the Wesley Methodist Church Cardiff, for this session whose theme was ‘A journey into the Wilderness’.
Pastor Jeremy Tremeer from the Seven Day Adventist Church in Rawden Place led the Bible Study which looked at the scripture reading in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11, The Temptation of Jesus. We discussed the reason for Jesus time in the wilderness and the references to the number forty in the bible and then went on to share experiences of encounters and discussions with people of other faiths and how these had deepened and strengthened our own faith. The meeting was closed with prayer and was followed by a time of fellowship when refreshments were served.
The next meeting will be in the rear hall at the Calvary Baptist Church, 134 Cowbridge Road East, next Monday 13 March 2017 at 7:00pm.
Written by David Foley
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 - Joint Service
At 4:00pm on Sunday 22 January 2017, there was an Ecumenical Worship Service for the ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’ held at St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church which was organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’. The service was led by the host priests with contributions from the clergy and members of the other churches in the parish i.e. Calvary Baptist Church, Canton Uniting Church, Conway Road Methodist Church, St Luke's Church, Canton, St John the Evangelist Church, Canton, St Catherine's Church, Canton, Cardiff Canton Salvation Army Corps, Cardiff SDA Church and the Wesley Methodist Church Cardiff.
During the Gathering the congregation sang the hymn, ‘All are welcome in this place’ and we were then told it is the anniversary of the Reformation in Germany. Then Fr Phelim O'Hare gave the Confessing, during which he talked of how we have grown apart and become divided and called for us to confess and seek healing. Representatives from each of the denominations gave a reading and provided a brick for an artificial wall which was built as the readings continued and we sang the hymn, ‘On Eagles Wings’.
For the Hearing the Epistle – 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 10-13 and 17 were read and then Psalm 18 verses 26-32 were sung by a member of St Mary’s Music Group. The Gospel Reading was Luke chapter 15 verses 11-22, the Parable of the Lost Son and was read by Major Jeff Winterburn.
Rev. Maurice Scanlon gave the Sermon where he spoke of how today could be a symbol of us coming back together to reconcile a broken world. The congregation recited the Creed before The Peace, when we all greeted and shook hands with members of all the other denominations. During the Responding it was declared that all that divides us from God died with Christ on the cross and we will become one with each other again. The congregation sang the hymn, ‘He I am Lord’ and while we sang the artificial wall was dismantled and reassembled into a cross (see photograph). Major Sue Winterburn was the first of four readers for the Intercessory Prayers.
All the congregation were invited to come to the front and form a chain by holding hands while we recited The Lord’s Prayer and then sang the hymn ‘Longing for Light’ after we returned to our pews, the ministers gathered at the front to give the Blessing.
After the service we were all invited to St Mary Parish Hall which is on the other side of Talbot Street, for refreshments and a time of multidenominational fellowship. This was a well attended and powerful expression of Christian unity with the opportunity to build bridges.
Written by David Foley
Welcome to the website of the Canton Churches. Here you will find information about activities that are going on in Canton.
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The ministers of the Canton Churches meet regularly to pray and to discuss how we might work together.
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