Unfortunately events have overtaken me recently and delayed the writing of this short piece. An evening in hospital, which laid me low for a couple of weeks, and then a diocesan conference have been my main distractions.
However, it is good to be back on track. Twelve months have gone so very quickly since my induction a year ago and it is refreshing to say my time here has been a great joy and really exciting.
I don’t feel I need to go over all the exciting things that are happening here but I do feel some need a mention. We have had two wonderful festivals – the Christmas event and more recently the Flower Festival, both filling our church with great numbers. Some of the benefits of these occasions have increased our profile in the outside world and raised the footfall off Market Street.
Our church congregations also seem to be on the increase with more children being involved, and this can only be good for the future. One of the highlights is how our Mums and Tots services on Wednesdays have taken off and are being well supported. Long may this continue!
There is a real sense of the Holy Spirit working within our parish and a real sense of fellowship and love being shown by so many people which are the fruits of God’s work within our church. It says in Galatians 5:22,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
May I say I see these things really happening on a daily basis, how wonderful is that! I am looking forward with real optimism to putting into place some of the plans we have in the pipeline for our church, and have been really encouraged by the support of the PCC.
As we start to move into the holiday period may I ask you to remember those many people who are struggling because they are out of work, who are finding paying the household bills a real difficulty through no fault of their own? May I suggest we continue to keep them in our prayers?
I have been really encouraged in the use of our prayer board and votive candles in the Lady Chapel; it seems to have taken on a life of its own. I am reminded by the words from Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”