IT MAY be of interest to people living Cumbria that the county is the national focus for an experimental way of churches from different denominations collaborating together in their fundamental task of getting the message out that God is for all.

The agreements, which most churches in Cumbria are part of, commit Christian communities in a certain place to collaborate and work together in the traditional areas of our work. So for example, our work in the Eden valley among young people knows no denominational boundaries.

The church’s work of meeting social need, such as the Food Bank, is something we all participate in without even thinking which church is organising it.

The traditional parish magazine has for many years told everyone everything that is going on in a great number of religious communities in the Eden Valley, as well as being a fantastic source of local news and information for communities.

But it’s not all a bed of roses.

In facing up to the challenge of how to do “Mission Communities,” how to develop a Christian presence in every community in Cumbria, we are supposed to take a hard look at resources such as buildings and finance.This has proved far more problematic, as we all hold dear the thought that our places of worship are part of our identity and family history.

Nevertheless, I believe Christian communities in Cumbria are setting a brilliant example of working together as they never have before.

Peter Boyles

Priest, Heart of Westmorland

Missional Community