a red letter day

a red letter day

in the story of the Waterways Chaplaincy


1st January 2023 was a day that marked the transition of the Waterways Chaplaincy from being a part of Workplace Matters to becoming an independent, ecumenical charity within the Church Army family.

We have left Work place Matters (WM) with fond memories and much appreciation of the way that, in 2019, WM ‘birthed’ WWC and continued to nurture the ministry. The effectiveness of their encouragement over the years has seen WWC grow into a unique nationwide charity being Jesus’ hands and feet amongst the waterways communities.

You might say that it is a sign of success that WWC is now ready to strike out independently and grow further, but now with the support of the Church Army.

The Waterways Chaplaincy’s ministry has a more natural affinity with Church Army. Wilson Carlile, who established the Church Army in 1882, believed that God’s love is for everyone. He was passionate about his faith and wanted to share the good news of Jesus with people who would never dream of stepping foot in a church.

That continues to be the Church Army’s mission today and is why the Waterways Chaplaincy fits so well into its family of ministries.

a window on the world!

St Laurence's Church, Hungerford

Having passed on that news, I must tell you about our new church doors. St.Lawrence’s church, Hungerford, which is right next door to the towpath of the Kennet and Avon canal, was built in 1816 on the site of previous churches. It has a stout wooden outer door and, until a couple of weeks ago, ugly red baize inner doors. They have now been replaced by handsome new glass doors, manufactured in Germany, each one attractively etched with a ceremonial Cross. This means that the entrance into the church is lighter and brighter and those inside are able to look out into the churchyard with, at the moment, its carpet of snowdrops. More importantly, those outside can see what is happening inside before they venture in – or not, if the viewer is too shy to do so – perhaps next time he or she will have a change of mind?

The doors are the first step in refurbishing the back end of the church to provide a commercial kitchen, disabled toilets, and small meeting rooms that can be heated individually without heating the whole church (which actually means heating the high

The doors and installation have been paid for by the Friends of the church following a lot of successful fund raising, and their donated £12,000 was match funded by Greenham Common Trust.

Our vicar’s wife, Alison Saunders, heads up the Kennet and Avon hub of the Waterways Chaplaincy and our vicar, Mike, is also a chaplain. The church is open all day and we would love to welcome you at any time!

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About Iris Lloyd

Iris Lloyd lives beside the Kennet and Avon Canal at Hungerford. A Christian since the age of 17, Iris has, at 89, become a Waterways Chaplain. She has danced all her life, has volunteered for the CAB and her local Food Bank, written for & edited magazines, and published 9 novels.