Dec 212017

Vicki Pope
Christians from the English Valley area enjoy fellowship after an ecumenical Christmas service Dec. 9 at St. Joseph Parish in North English.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

NORTH ENGLISH — Earlier this month, members of eight English Valley area churches came together to celebrate Christmas at St. Joseph Parish.

Protestants and Catholics alike participated in the annual Ecumenical Service, which rotates between the area churches.

“It’s been going on forever,” said Frances Pilkington, a longtime St. Joseph parishioner. More than 20 years ago, in her estimation, “all the churches just met and decided to do it.

During the service Dec. 9 each church had a role, such as singing or reading Scripture. An offering was collected for English Valley Dollars for Scholars, which provides college scholarships to graduates from English Valley High School. After the service, St. Joseph Altar and Rosary hosted a social hour.

English Valley churches also worship together during Lent and Thanksgiving. During the summer, they plan a service in the park.

“It’s for the fellowship and being together,” Pilkington said.

Learn more about how the English Valley churches work together in a future edition of The Catholic Messenger.

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