Chapters join forces! Southwark and London Company of Servers become one
12 January 2019 - Southwark and London Chapters combine
This was a landmark meeting in the history of both the London and Southwark Chapters and was very well attended. It commenced with the London Chapter’s Annual General Meeting. Reports were given by the Chairman on the Chapter’s activity during the past 12 months, together with the Treasurer’s summary of the accounts. However, the main business of the meeting was to discuss a proposal jointly put forward by the Committee of the London Chapter and senior representatives of the Southwark Chapter (who, in the absence of a Chairman, have had no Committee or AGM for the past 2 years) to create a more formal arrangement between our two Chapters, which have been meeting together informally since 2016. The views of members of both Chapters had been canvassed in advance and further discussion took place at the meeting, following which the proposal was universally agreed. Essentially, while retaining the ability to identify members of each Chapter and their financial contributions separately, we will function as one Chapter, named the Southwark and London Chapter, with one bank account, one annual programme, a joint committee and with St Saviour’s Church Pimlico and Southwark Cathedral as our main venues. It was extremely gratifying to see how enthusiastically this plan for a joint liaison was received.
Once our new way forward had been agreed we went on to discuss the formation of a joint Committee and to elect its members. During the course of 2018 the London Chapter’s Secretary, Fiona Andrews , had handed over her responsibilities to another Committee member, Alastair Knott. This AGM marked the end of the terms of office of both the Chairman, Cathie James, and the Treasurer, Sion Hughes Carew (who is now training for ordained ministry at Westcott House). The following were elected nem con to form the new Committee :Chairman – Michael Lewis, an existing London Chapter Committee member and a Companion of both the London and Southwark Chapters; Secretary – Alastair Knott (see above); temporary Treasurer to oversee the amalgamation of the bank accounts, the Treasurer General, John Kitchener, who is a member of Southwark Chapter; Cathie James and Fiona Andrews (London Chapter) (see above) and Hazel Pudney (Southwark Chapter) completed the additional Committee members.
Fr Matthew Catterick (London) and Fr Geoffrey Thompson (Southwark) agreed to continue as Chaplains with the proviso that either could admit Companions from both sides of the river in which ever Diocese they presented.
Following the AGM, Sion Hughes Carew (see above) who, inter alia, had been a former Secretary General of the CoS and in whose clerical footsteps he was following, gave an very informative illustrated talk on his pathway to ordination. He covered all the steps from the first inklings of vocation, ‘the itch you cannot scratch’, up to his acceptance for and commencement of training at Westcott. Many questions followed and some surprise was expressed at how rigorous and demanding the selection process was.
The meeting ended with a celebration of the Eucharist led by Fr Matthew Catterick.
The newly constituted Southwark and London Chapter’s next meeting will be a visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, kindly hosted by its Chaplain, Fr Stephen Brookes on Saturday March 9th.
All who serve at the altar are welcome and for further details see ‘Local Chapters’ on the CoS website or contact the Chapter Secretary, Alastair Knott, at email@example.com