The Waldensian Church in Torre Pellice
The Waldensian Church in Torre Pellice is a community of Protestant Christians who seek to live out their own faith in Jesus Christ and bear witness to it. It consists of about 1300 members, and joyfully proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It pays heed to issues within its own area, gives welcome to people in need, dialogues with other faith groups, and works to build a pluralist sustainable society. Find out more about us by visiting the other pages of this website.
The Ministers in our church
At present we are served by two ministers, Marcello Salvaggio and Klaus Langeneck.
The Waldensian Church recognises other ministries besides the full time pastoral, like that for the elderly, and for social work; local preachers, catechists, junior church leaders, and others besides. There is no ministerial hierarchy, but each one gives expression to a gift or special talent recognised by the church itself, on the basis of the witness of the New Testament.
In principle, ministers have responsibility for preaching the Gospel, educating in the faith and for pastoral care. Their own studies lead to the degree of the Waldensian Faculty of Theology with its premises in Rome. After a period of probation, they are ordained to the pastoral ministry and allocated to a local church. After centuries of exclusively male ministry, the Waldensian Church made the firm decision in 1963 that women also can become ministers, and so it was that in 1967 , two women were the first to take ordination.
Church Meeting and Governance
The Church meeting is the decision making body of the local church and gives opportunity for members to play a full part and take on responsibilities. It gathers together three or four times a year for matters of an administrative, theological or pastoral nature. It elects the council of elders, the number of which may vary according to local membership of the church.
At the present time, the Eldership of Torre Pellice consists of 16 elders whose duty it is to care for the “ church districts”, that is the local neigbourhoods where the Waldensian community is represented; it includes 3 deacons who have administrative roles and 2 ministers. Six times a year, elders, both men and women, personally deliver to members’ addresses a copy of the news bulletin “ The Burning Torch”.
Some special concerns and duties identified by the Elders Meeting are undertaken by nominated committees, who answer for their work to the Eldership itself.
There are at present in Torre Pellice six special working groups:
Social Service: concerned with the counselling centre and the assistance the church offers especially to the “ New Poor” as they are now termed.
Outreach: takes on organisation of the “ Open House” through the year, plans events looking to reach out to the outside world, such as the summer lectures, educational visits in primary schools, and starting this year, Mission Week.
Hospitality: takes on arrangements for welcoming visiting groups and preparing meals, such as planning for Agape feasts ( lunches for the congregation) notably on calendar dates like 17th February and Pentecost.
Facilities: arranges the setting up and dismantling of outdoor equipment when the Synod meets, and for celebrations in the church and in its centres of service.
Premises: is responsible for the management and upkeep of the church’s premises.
Finance: oversees the monetary and financial management of the church, for which the sole basis is the offerings of church members
Internet: is responsible for the management of internet web site and Facebook page of Waldensian church of Torre Pellice.