Exciting times for our Gosport churches

Rev Helen Higgin-Botham, minister at Gosport URC
Rev Helen Higgin-Botham, minister at Gosport URC
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THIS year, 2017, is an incredibly important year for the United Reformed Churches in Gosport because (in the words of the Spice Girls) ‘Two become one’.

After a massive amount of prayerful consideration and deliberation, and after giving thanks for the faithful witness and worship at both Bury Road URC and St. Columba’s URC, the two congregations will amalgamate on the Elson Road site to become Gosport United Reformed Church St Columba.

This is a prospect that we are massively looking forward to

As if this wasn’t enough big news, both of our wonderful churches are celebrating their 60th Anniversary this year; therefore, we are now planning to mark this with three weekend events planned on the May 20-21, August 25-28, and October 21-22.

The first weekend aims to give thanks for the past, and will include a Closure Celebration Service at Bury Road.

The second will celebrate the present – and is going to include an Arts and Flower Festival and a Diamond Anniversary Party on a 1950s theme.

Finally, the third will look forward to the future, and whatever God has planned for us as we go forward, and will include a Music Concert and a Celebration Service of Recommitment.

All of this has come after a lot of soul-searching and difficult decision making, and has not been easy for those involved or those who are also affected on the periphery.

When you look back at the histories of both Bury Road and St Columba’s, you begin to appreciate the long and sometimes difficult journeys they’ve taken.

In many ways, the events of this year are just further steps along that journey.

However, the amalgamation is the point at which their stories truly unite and become something new.

What has gone before will never be forgotten.

What is to come is in God’s hands, yet it will be shaped by the dedication, commitment, and determination of all who continue to support each other during this transition.

So yes, 2017 is a year that will go down in the history of the United Reformed Church is Gosport – and my prayer will be that this ‘united’ congregation will continue for many, many more years to come.

If you would like to find our more about our churches in Gosport, or are looking for some additional guidance in your faith, then please visit our website gosporturc.org.uk.