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A snapshot of the 2022 National Assembly

It was great to welcome so many people to Carrs Lane Congregational Church in Birmingham for our 48th National Assembly, held in our golden anniversary year. Folks from so many churches all over the country gathered for a weekend of celebration events and we even ran a Children's Assembly alongside our main event.

We were thankful for the support of the URC - also in their golden anniversary year! - CTE, CTBI, CWM and many others who sent representatives to be part of the day. John Bradbury, URC General Secretary, spoke to Assembly on their behalf. 

The morning session was mainly taken up with business, hearing reports from the Church Support Committee, the Finance and Support Services Committee and Council, with the opportunity to have a general discussion on the work of Council. These all complimented the Congregational Review, which was shared with all people at Assembly. We watched a number of films - including from the Learning and Development Group and from Nigel Lindsay - which are included here too.



The afternoon session heard the reflections of Suzanne Nockels, who had been President for the previous 12 months, before Mark Taylor was inducted as President for 2022/23. Mark Taylor's theme for the year is "Hope", and he asked churches to invite him to visit them over the next 12 months.

The afternoon session was also the time for recognitions. Assembly welcomed Simone Ramacci (Minister) and Suzanne Nockels (Chaplain) on to the Roll of Ministries, and Ruscombe Congregational Church as an Affiliated Church of the Congregational Federation. In our 50th Anniversary Year we also recognised those on our Roll of Ministries with certificates celebrating their years of service - with Bill Bentham, Clifford Hill, Chris Gillham and John Travell each acknowledged for over 50 years of ministry.

We celebrated with Upper Killay and Stambourne Chapel who both won awards from Congregational Insurance as Serving the Community winners, and with Oliver Kinchin who was unveiled as President-Elect 2023/24.

The children and young people joined us to share what they had been up to in their own Assembly. Finally, we were invited by the South West Area to the 49th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in their Area next year - Saturday 13th May 2023, put the date in your diary!

Assembly began with a hymn especially written for our 50th Anniversary Year by Elisabeth Sweeney Smith - Shout praise for golden jubilee - and the worship was led all day by Rychard Price and musicians from the Sparkbrook Christian Centre, which provided an inspiring and fitting backdrop to the business of the day.