Over a year ago now, I returned home to be greeted by a letter from the Bishop suggesting that I consider coming to a church called St. Anne’s to serve my curacy! What followed was much prayer, a phone call and, ultimately, a visit. For me the visit made it quite clear that this was where I would come, as I felt God clearly tell me that he had plans for this church and this parish and that he was calling me to take a part in them. I have now been the curate at St. Anne’s for 4 months and that belief has only grown.
I believe passionately in mission. I believe passionately in Jesus Christ and in what he did. We live in a broken world, a world where people are hurting and suffering and, within this world, nothing could be more important than living out and proclaiming the good news that, because of what Jesus has done, a new creation is breaking out right here in the midsts of this one. This is not about trying to get more people in church (although that would be nice too!), this is about showing and telling the people of our community the life transforming news that God is on their side!
So often I am told that church is boring and irrelevant (although, ironically, people seem less keen to tell me this now I have a collar round my neck!). Boring? Irrelevant? How could the news that God became human, died for you, rose to life ushering in the beginning of a new creation and now invites you to take part in it … how could that possibly be boring or irrelevant? Sometimes it feels like we have taken the greatest, most explosive message in history and tamed it. We’ve taken a lion and turned in into a kitten! Our task, as a church, is to make sure we communicate and demonstrate this good news in a way that leaves no doubt that it is the most exciting and relevant thing that could ever be!
The question is how can we reach out to the people of Shevington, Standish Lower Ground and Crooke with this good news? How can we make it clear that the good news is relevant to our families, our friends and the people who live and work in our parish? How do we make it so that the community in which we worship can hear this good news and it’s relevance? How do we make our services as accessible as possible for people, of whatever age, to come and explore God’s story?
On the previous pages Reverend Philip will have already shared some of the changes that will be made in the new year to try to make our services more accessible to people, of all ages. However, “The mission of the Church is to know Christ better and to make Christ better known” and this task is never-ending. As such, on Friday 30th November, at 7:30pm we will be holding an informal Prayer and Praise service, in which we will be singing some new songs, praying to God regarding the mission of St. Anne’s church and Reverend Philip and myself will share some of what we believe God has in store for the mission of St. Anne’s Church. It would be brilliant if as many people as possible came to this service, as the mission of the church is not just down to the ordained clergy, but is the responsibility of us all.
I passionately believe that God has plans for St. Anne’s Church and I am so excited to be here taking part in what God is doing. Please come and worship and pray with us and join in the ongoing discussion on how to continue the building of the Kingdom of God in our parish.