RECTOR'S january pew LETTER
(A belated) Happy New Year to you! I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was memorable for not all the best reasons: I started the season having my appendix removed very unexpectedly but by the Grace of God have now made a full recovery. Thank you for all your prayers. Then Lucia caught the dreaded flu and was in bed over most of Christmas which only demonstrated how indispensable mothers/wives are! I am aware that many others have also been ill – not the best start to the year – and I do pray for healing for one and all.
Paul writes in Ephesians 5: “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And so I give thanks for our amazing Christmas services that were all very well attended. The only slight hitch was an organ pipe getting stuck at the Midnight Communion service but through excellent team-work and adaptability we were soon on track with an electric keyboard. Thank you to everyone who made all our services such an amazing success. Please join me in praying that those who visited over Christmas might return.
We should also give thanks for a successful 2017. Several people came to faith and I rejoice in seeing them set free from debilitating patterns of sin and enjoying a new life of freedom in the Spirit. The Kingdom of God has grown here and so there have been
celebrations in heaven (Luke 15:7). The confirmation and baptism service last November was surely a high point.
The Year Ahead. There is much to achieve and look forward to this year and we need to be covering all of this in prayer. Here are some goals to pray about:
· To deepen our lives as disciples.
· Alpha courses (daytime and evening) running every term. We pray for many to come to know Jesus through them. If you haven’t done Alpha why not do one as a helper?
· Parenting courses for parents of kids and of teens.
· A marriage course in April.
· Seeing The Centre grow in outreach and community.
· Our ‘outreach’ - that is to say the activities we undertake that are aimed specifically at those who don’t come to church – to grow and impact lives.
· Our prayer events being better supported.
· Our giving to increase so we can fund all our activities.
· The smooth transition to a new church database.
· For a new church warden from one of the contemporary congregations.
· For more volunteer helpers in the office and production teams.
· The appointment of an associate minister and a house for them to occupy.
· Extra space to have been identified for our growing kids groups.
· To have a firm plan to build a new church school in the Parish.
On a personal note I have a 10-day mission trip to India next month and will be on sabbatical over the summer so much to look forward to for me but also extra responsibility for Danny as he leads BPC in my absence.
Alpha has started and the morning Alpha course starts on Thursday 18th (9.45am) Please do pray for those starting the course. And for many to sign-up (it isn’t too late). If you’ve not done the course why not give it a go? I’ve done it many times and always learn something new.
Outreach. We have some exciting plans to reach out into the community and George is looking for more team members. If you’d like to be involved let him know firstname.lastname@example.org
New Families’ Worker. Jo Brice has taken over from Amanda Marshall and will be leading Messy Church and Ark.
Production Assistance. We need more help on the Production Team (sound and visuals) so if you can help do let Tim King know email@example.com
Fabric Projects. I wanted to make everyone aware of two projects that are in gestation:
· We are planning to create a baptistery. This will be a small pool that is completely concealed below ground level at the front of the nave under the parquet flooring. It will be filled as and when needed. When not in use it will be covered and you’ll not notice it is there. A very generous church member is paying for this. It will be wonderful to be able to do full immersion baptisms without having to set-up a temporary pool.
· We have a plan to restore the side chapel to what it would have looked like when the church was first built. With the move of the midweek service to the chancel it needs a make-over. We want to remove the Edwardian altar and move the St Peter & St Paul Stained glass window from the kitchen to where the current plain glass window is (unseen) behind the Edwardian altar – this will show-off a magnificent
window that is currently seen only from inside the kitchen. The stage will be continued out allowing extra space for performances for choir or musicians. The area will be set aside for prayer ministry and the clutter removed. We’ll be showing off the drawings for this in due course and you can let us know what you think. A generous donor has agreed to half-fund this project. The rood screen will remain untouched.
Questionnaire. We have sent out a link to an on-line survey asking for comment and feedback on what we are doing at BPC. If you haven’t yet completed it do please do so. If you’re not on email then please ask the Office for a paper copy.
Land Rover Restoration Project. We’ve had our first day of work restoring a 1961 Series 2 Land Rover and managed to strip all the bodywork off but plenty more to do! If you’d like to be a part of our team please let me know via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates for your diary:
· Alpha – the evening course has just started and is on Wednesdays at 7.30pm
· Alpha Daytime starts on Thursday 18th at 9.45am.
· Unhindered worship is on Monday 15th 8pm – late.
· Benefice Lunch at Whaddon – Sunday 28th January.
· Candlemas Supper is on Saturday 3rd February.
with every blessing for a prosperous and peaceful 2018