Monday, 29 November 2021

Merged churches renamed

A CHURCH in Sonning Common has changed its name a decade after a new congregation took over.

Sonning Common Free Church in Grove Road became part of the Caversham Evangelical Church in Emmer Green in 2011 after members of the congregation became too elderly to continue running it.

The congregation from Emmer Green has been holding meetings at both buildings so the church elders decided it was time to rename both churches for uniformity and inclusivity.

They are now both called Chiltern Evangelical Church as both buildings are on the edge of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Beauty.

Joe King, a church elder, said: “We’re very happy with the new name and we hope it’s more inclusive for all the community.

“It’s sad that the Sonning Common Free Church is no longer a name and many people knew Caversham Evangelical Church as well but we thought it was easier to change it as people would say, ‘Well, who are you?’ so that’s what we did.”

Mr King said the Caversham church had been “very happy” to take the Sonning Common Free Church under its wings but added: “We then had one congregation meeting in two places so you can imagine the confusion and we decided last year to change it.

“It’s the same people meeting in the same place but we have a name that is appropriate.”

The churches have also been registered as a charity.

Mr King said: “With the Government taking up very appropriate regulations around informal organisations and charities, it became clear that we would need to be registered as a charity and we did that last year.”

The churches have a new green circular logo with a white tree structure to represent “being rooted together in Christ”.

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