Inevitably this report has to be very selective. I could write pages on all the good things are going on around the church. But I want to focus on three areas of church life have been particularly important in my first year:
Prayer – For me it is vital that prayer is the first thing in the diary, rather than the thing that is squeezed in at the end. Since January I have been praying in the church, for the church and I have really appreciated those who have joined me at these weekly prayer times. In addition we have been part of wider prayer events. We opened the circuit Prayer Fest in November with a prayer breakfast and look forward to being part of the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative in May with other churches in Radcliffe. We aim to prayer walk the entire village over the course of 10 days.
Property – The decision to change the focus of the regeneration project in November was clearly a huge one with significant consequences which we are still working through. It was really important to me that although this decision was met with a range of emotions, I have felt that the church has come together to make it. Outside of the big stuff, I continue to want to make sure that our premises are as welcoming as possible. The working week in October was a great joy as so many people got together to do the small jobs. Watch out for another one soon.
Worship – You have hopefully already seen and heard my reflections on this through the worship paper I presented to church council and in some recent sermons. I simply reiterate my desire to make Sunday mornings here the best hour of the week anywhere in Radcliffe.
Outside of Radcliffe I have had to put quite a lot of energy into the Superintendency. As well as the ongoing duties this involves, there were a number of issues brought forward from the period when there wasn’t a permanent Superintendent. The push now is to take the actions that will realise the circuit vision: to be growing in faith, growing in numbers and growing in engagement with our communities.
These first 13 months have been far busier and far more challenging than I expected. I wish I had had more time to go out visiting and drop in on church groups and it is still my desire to do this. As we work through some of the first priorities I also hope that we can begin to look at other areas of church life. My hope is that we will soon be able to say with confidence that, like the circuit, we are growing in faith, growing in number and growing in engagement with our community.
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