Pastoral Letter (April 2018)

from Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

By the time that you read this, I shall have started my three month sabbatical.  I am grateful to the church for this gift of time away from the usual demands and responsibilities and I am looking forward to a slower pace of life for few months.  This will allow me to have time to read, pray, study and reflect, to have some time to peruse some recreation and to spend precious time with friends and family – much of which gets squeezed out in the busy demands of ministry.

While I am away you will need to work on the results of our 'Day of Engagement'.  I hope that those of you who were able to attend the day found it to be challenging and inspiring.  I was pleased that Adrian and Natalie led the day in such a positive way – focussing on what we have (rather than on what we don't have) and encouraging us to strive towards being the best that we can be.  The strategy group are now collating all the responses from the day and we will discern from them how God is guiding us towards the next chapter in the history of our church.

I was particularly heartened that when talking to the children on that day, that they all agreed that the people in our church are very friendly and welcoming and that our church is a good place to be.  I hope that we might continue to follow their example and make our church community a place where people are welcomed and accepted, and where they can discover and nurture their faith in God.

It's been a long and cold winter this year and we might wonder if spring will ever come.  Some people suggest that the church is in a winter period when much seems to be lifeless and without hope.  But as we celebrate Easter we are reminded once more that the Gospel message is that death always leads to resurrection and new life.  Just as the spring flowers will appear, the lifeless looking trees will grow leaves and will bear fruit, so as we continue to live faithful, prayer–filled lives, we will bear fruit and know God's blessing on our lives and on our Church community.

With every blessing
Catherine

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