August saw me preaching for the first time at our Home Church, St John’s, Littleworth. I picked up a Summer Sermon Series based around Ephesians. (4:24 – 5:2) This begins with one of Paul’s ‘therefore’s’ – and when you see one of those, you ask ‘What is that there for’ (therefore)?!
Direct blog link for transcript…
We had planned to have some time away and visits and also a general tidy up during the quieter month of August. Not too much of that happened, although we did manage a short break just outside of Nottingham. A wonderful city with great history and a very large Unitarian Chapel turned into a ‘Piano & Pitcher’ restaurant and still retaining many of the original features – could see a trend here!
The Report, ‘Released for Mission’ (GS Misc 1092 published 2015) is due to come before the Diocesan Synod in October. I was delighted to be invited to be part of a very lively group of rural ministers who are setting about this task, alongside promoting rural ministry across the diocese.
Another preachment, this time at St Anne’s, Brown Edge. There is a real challenge here and I am working closely with the Priest in Charge, Alan Betts, to see if we can grow something alongside the very traditional Eucharist that is the mainstay of St Anne’s. They do have a great C of E Primary School very close to the church and we have plans to try and engage with the school. Engaging not only with the children but also the teachers and parents and carers.
Two further visits seeking to encourage Benefices in their Mission and Growth. One of them linked in with the excellent CPAS Course ‘Working & Growing Together.’ This seeks to create learning communities for multi-parish benefices.
Another fantastic resource is LICC…
This promotes ‘Whole Life Discipleship’ and I am delighted to have been brought into the Diocesan Discipleship Group who has this as their main focus.
Continuing with the rural theme but this time a meeting to explore how the Church Tent at the Shropshire Show could be enhanced. In preparation I revisited the Booklet I co-wrote and available as a download on the REN web site www.ruralevangelism.net (‘Making a Show.’) Although needing a few tweaks I was pleased by the amount of useful information this contains.
Another meeting planning a Parish Away Day for Chesterton & Red Street concluded the month as we moved into the Bank Holiday Weekend.
(Always remembering the admin and prep work in between!)
Six month review with Bishop Geoff and Archdeacon Matthew. In the evening with the Ministry Team for Hanbury Benefice, exploring creating a MAP.
Spending the day with the Ashley Benefice as they seek to find a creative way forward in mission and growth.
BIG Diocesan Celebration
‘The Goodness of God.’ I am taking the Caravan and various games, etc.
Leading a Service of the Word and Preaching at St Thomas & St Andrew, Doxey
Meeting with my Spiritual Companion. In the evening with the Chebsey Benefice Vacancy Mission Group.
Jane and I are taking a ‘Quiet Day’ together at ‘The Hermitage.’
‘Chew & Chat’ – lunch time with a couple of friends.
Meeting with my line-manager, George Fisher.
Chesterton & Red Street Parish Away Day
Leading Worship for the Chebsey Benefice (Currently in Vacancy)
Midlands Missioners Gathering in Birmingham
Stafford Chapter (as participant)
September 18th – 20th
Parish Weekend for St Michael and All Angels, Lancing, Sussex. Exploring ‘Whole Life Discipleship.’
Then to Cornwall for ‘Joe & Jen’s Wedding 23rd Sept. (I’m preaching, Jane’s singing and other family members are all involved one way or another – this is going to be ‘different!’)
27th September at our Home Church before heading off to Gatwick for a holiday in Turkey. We are not back until the 10th October and so the next N&P will be late!
Family News – we can’t even begin to thank you all enough for the way you have responded to my desperate email following the bogus call from our Bank Fraud Department. Jane is recovering step by step, helped by prayer and medication. We are still waiting to hear if the Bank is going to offer any compensation as a ‘good will’ gesture. Meanwhile we have had to take out a bridging loan to put back into our account the £7,000 stolen so that Direct Debits and other bills can be paid, otherwise they might bounce and our credit rating drop. On Friday 4th we begin working with CAB. This was one curved ball from the left we didn’t expect but God’s people have been fantastic, especially our home church and in particular our curate Becky. Family and friends have also rallied around and offered help and support. We are getting there step by step and looking forward to ‘The Wedding’ and the holiday. In the midst of all this we had Tabitha’s boyfriend Peter visiting for 24 hours. Peter attends the Watford Soul Survivor Church with Mike Pilavachi as Senior Pastor, so what’s not to like! Please remember Daniel as he begins a new school term, plus of course Tracey and their two lovely girls, Kerryn and Lowenna. And in case you missed it, Joe and Jen get married this month!