In 2019 we are celebrating our 150th anniversary, and what a year it promises to be! The plans for our celebrations have been taking shape throughout the past year. PEACE is one of the great WRBC words, but jigsaw pieces feel like the appropriate way to describe what's going on as preparations for the picture of the year continue to emerge.
Remembrance Sunday marked 50 days to the start of next year. This update from Taskforce 150 contains some details that will make up the year ahead, but we'd love to involve everyone in our celebrations as we move forwards together!
PROGRAMME • PROJECTS • PROMOTION • PRAYER
Some events have yet to be finalised but we are happy to announce the first musical items are confirmed. Our celebration season is opened by internationally renowned pianist Masa Tayama with a free lunchtime recital on Saturday 9 February (12 noon start) while Felici Opera present 'An Enchanted Evening of Song' covering Mozart to Monty Python on Saturday 23 March (7.30 pm).
Also in March, we have a musical production of Pilgrim's Progress, arranged by Harold Liberty and performed by members of Hitchin churches. Two shows are scheduled for Friday 29 and Saturday 30 March (7.30pm starts for both) - ticket information will be released nearer the time.
Into the summer, we're looking at hosting a Flower Festival in June with our biennial Art Exhibition in July - featuring art from local primary schools.
Several guest preachers have been invited to lead worship throughout the year including Michael Quicke (professor of preaching in Chicago and former principal at Spurgeon's), Geoff Colmer (Central Baptist Association Team leader) and Lynn Green (General Secretary of the Baptist Union).
In 1992 the first volume of the church's history covering 1869-1992 was published - we hope one project will be the publication of volume two, covering the last 25 years at WRBC.
More than just telling the story, creative projects in partnership with two Hitchin secondary schools are now being negotiated and developed around the aim of something visual, of lasting worth, and of value to the church, schools and the wider community.
Plans to produce a items of branded merchandise are on-track - whilst these things take time to develop, the first items should be released this December.
Slow starts could not be said for our banner-making group - who've made plenty of progress - thanks to the team already dedicated to that project!
We'd really love for you to get involved with projects during our 150 year too - if you've got a creative idea or opportunity, drop by the church or contact us using the form at the bottom of our website.
We want the people of Hitchin to know and get involved during our anniversary year. We're recently refreshed our website and social media accounts - with finishing touches to both through November.
As well as online, we're preparing promotional material for the events we have planned to increase our presence in the town. We are also one of the only churches currently without a road-sign in Hitchin so keep your eyes peeled in the new year!
Be encouraged that prayer has already begun! The Kerygma room had deteriorated over the past few years into a storage room but has been refreshed with new windows, carpets and furniture into a lovely new prayer room - just have a look at the photo below!
We're praying for all those getting involved in WRBC150 Celebrations, not just the Taskforce! We've had an encouraging (albeit brief) chat with a headteacher about bringing our Open the Book initiative to their school - check the Youth page for information on that.
Finally we're praying for others, for those in our town, country and world with less than we are fortunate to have, for the charities local and international that we support, and for our members that they will continue to be encouraged and involved with our WRBC150 Celebrations.
We look forward to seeing you in 2019 - come on and celebrate with us!