The National Committee
The National Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consists of one representative from each of the participating denominations, each chosen by their denomination to represent it on WDP. These representatives are appointed for a term of nine years, reviewable every three. If during that time a member is elected to become a Trustee, her denominational status ends and the denomination will be requested to appoint somebody else to represent it. The newly appointed Trustee will serve a further two years as Vice-chairperson, two years as Chairperson and two years as President. (Effective from 2018 in accordance with the revised constitution. During this period of transition, the current Chairperson will remain in post longer than the two years.)
We are a working committee of volunteers and all members are expected to take a full part in the year-round activities.
What the National Committee does
The members of the National Committee in England, Wales and Northern Ireland meet in January, March, May and September for their ordinary committee meetings.
In November, they attend a four day residential meeting. During this time, materials received from the country preparing the service in 15 months time, are discussed and edited.
After the four days most of the material is still at draft stage. Over the following weeks the material is worked upon resulting in the order of service, background, bible study and the children’s leaflet, together with a teachers’ guide, which are then printed ready for the Link Day, which is held in London in July. At the Link Day, preparation day organisers from all over the UK are informed about the country that has prepared the service for the following March, given a taste of the service and led in a study of the scripture passages.
Preparation days are organised in order to inform local WDP groups about the country that has prepared the service and the materials available. Materials are available to purchase. Some materials are free of charge.
These days take place from September until early February. Most of the meetings are held in October and November. Members of the national committee attend most of these meetings.
The National Committee of the WDP also has links round the world, with other committees of the WDP. Frequently we are asked to pray for the situations in various countries.
All members of the committee work on a voluntary basis and only claim expenses.
Appointed Officer 2020-2021
Welsh Speaking Churches
Gwen Wildman is the new representative for the Welsh Speaking Churches on the WDP National Committee. A retired nurse, she is currently secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Wales in Sutton, is an active Street Pastor in Merton and volunteers with Christian CARE Merton, a charity befriending disadvantaged families and migrants. Gwen likes nothing more than retreating to the green, green grass of home for the annual Ministry of Healing Conference, in Cefn Lea, Newtown.
Appointed Officer 2020-2021
Louise Bowes represents Northern Ireland on the WDP National Committee. She works for the Health Service and is a Street Pastor in the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey. Louise is a Diocesan Lay Reader and is currently studying for Ordained Local Ministry in the Church of Ireland.
Council for African and Afro Caribbean Churches
Joint Council of Churches for All Nations
Pastor Dr Audrey Eccleston represents the Joint Council of Churches for all Nations on the WDP National Committee. She is currently a widow and serves under the leadership of Bishop Dr Esme Beswick MBE, at Nebaioth Prophetic Church, at St Michael?s, Stockwell, Lambeth, since 2013. Audrey is a retired Science teacher, author of the book Praise, Worship and Thanksgiving, published by iUniverse and is an active member of Churches Together in Stockwell and Brixton.
Church of England
Rhianydd is the current representative for the Church of England on the WDP National Committee. She has recently completed her doctorate in medieval liturgical music at both Bangor University, Wales and Charles University, Prague.
Roman Catholic Church
Fieldwork Coordinator (Western Region)
English Speaking Churches of Wales
United Reformed Church
The Salvation Army
Religious Society of Friends
Stephanie Grant represents the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) on the WDP National Committee. She lives and worships in Watford, Hertfordshire. She has served her local Quaker meeting in many capacities including clerk, elder and convenor of children?s committee. (Quaker meetings don?t have paid clergy, we share the jobs among ourselves.) She takes a keen interest in ecumenical and interfaith activity and is currently serving on the national Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations.
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