RECTOR'S august pew LETTER
August is sweeping past in a whirlwind and seeing the ripening blackberries I almost want to shout “Hang-on! We’ve haven’t had much of a summer yet!”
I thought I should pen this even as Lucia does all the packing for our trip to Devon tomorrow morning. If I don’t, it will be a September newsletter.
I thoroughly enjoyed preaching on Romans 10 this morning. St Paul writes: “9 if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” What great words of reassurance. I hope that every time you say the Creed these words will have more meaning. Verses 14-15 are a big challenge to us all: “14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” People need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ – how can we expect them to believe in somebody they’ve not heard about? So, for me, these verses are an exhortation to invite people along to the next Alpha course that is starting on the 13th September.
If you’ve never done Alpha – even if you’re a mature Christian I’d still encourage you to do it as a helper. There are invitations at the back of church to collect that you can hand out. Please just pray and ask God to show you who to invite.
Parish Weekend Away 29th Sept – 1st Oct. We are nearly full (even though it has been like lastminute.com!) but we can secure extra accommodation if you still want to sign up. Full details are on the website and fliers also available in Church. Our speaker is the Revd Richard Moy who is an exceptionally gifted church leader/speaker from West London.
Holiday Club was a huge success and our team did brilliantly. Some 150 were registered at Venue 1 and 30 at Venue 2. If you served on the team: thank you so, so much! Please hold all the children who came in your prayers that they might return.
The ‘FOCUS’ Church Holiday was once again a great success and we’ll be going again next year. Thereafter (2019?) we are considering doing our own festival long w/e at a local farm so those who want to camp can, and those who don’t can drive over for the day. We’ll be exploring local options but good access and some large weatherproof barns are two important factors. Ideas to me please!
New Staff Appointments. We have come in the top ten of churches in Oxford Diocese based on the average Sunday attendance of children. This is amazing news and testimony to the hard work and vision of first Ada Rugg and then Emma King. With this growth and a big vision for what could be achieved with the youth work if more staff time were available, your PCC has agreed to transition Emma to purely youth work and to recruit a new children’s pastor. Details are:
New Youth Worker. Emma King becomes our fulltime Youth Pastor next term. Her ministry is largely hidden as only a small proportion of her youth groups attend a service. However she has over 40 young people attending her midweek groups and there is scope for further growth.
New Children’s Pastor. Tom Brice becomes our new half-time Children’s Pastor next term in place of Emma. Tom will be doing a job-share with his wife Jo. Tom will be doing all the Sunday work and some midweek meetings and Jo will support him administratively and do a lot of his preparation.
New Families’ Pastor. Jo Brice has been appointed to take over from Amanda Marshall when she finishes at Christmas. This post continues to be half-time and Jo will in addition continue to support her husband in his role. Tom & Jo have two boys (David 13 and Jonathan 11) and live in Brackley. Tom is a painter & decorator and Jo is a qualified teacher. They are now in Zambia on a mission trip.
New Operations Manager. As mentioned last month Rosie Hayes has been appointed and will take up this new role on 1st September.
New Outreach Pastor. George Pinnegar’s smoothie bar business plan has not (yet) attracted the necessary funding so as we look to honour our agreement to support him until he potentially starts training for ordained pioneer ministry in September 2018 we are looking at making him our Outreach Pastor – a step that really just formalises what he’s already been doing but also that will encourage him to take on more work amongst those on the fringes in Buckingham.
Do please pray for the above new staff members; pray that the enlarged team gels, pray that hand-overs are smooth, relationships are formed and people settle in quickly.
‘Summer Sundays’. I have been loving the Summer Sundays services and I hope you have too. The BBQs after the 5pm have been a highlight with a wonderful family-friendly atmosphere. We’ll need feedback so we can improve next year. Do please email me where you think we can do better (given the very limited manpower over the holidays).
New Church School. We continue to explore starting our own Christian ‘free school’ in Buckingham and your prayers are coveted as we meet decision-makers at Diocesan Church House next month.
The 11am Service – First Sundays. A reminder that from September we’ll experiment with reverting to the ‘service of the word’ format and see what people think. If you cannot miss out on Communion you can always attend Nash’s Communion Service at 10am – you would be a blessing to them.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. If you are interested in joining a Benefice pilgrimage to the Holy Land in September 2018 do please see the website for details www.bpchurch.uk/pilgrimage
Some Dates for your diary …
· Wednesday 31st August – Bucks County Show.
· Saturday 2nd (& 23rd September) – Organ Recitals in Church.
· Sunday 3rd September – new 11am service format starts.
· Monday 4th September 8-9pm Prayer & Praise in the Church.
· Wednesday 13th September - Alpha starts.
· 17th September, 2.30pm, Fairtrade Service at WSUC.
· 29th September – 1st October – Parish W/E Away.
Have a wonderful remaining few summer weeks, with much love,