Dear friends at All Saints,
With this week’s noticesheet you will find a flyer about our Advent and Christmas plans for the community. I’m really excited about the ideas and grateful for the hard work which the planning team and others have put into them – among many others, some have knitted an unbelievable number of angels and others have made a vast quantity of shortbread! Please do read through the flyer and, if you can help with any of the requests which the team are making, please respond to them and get involved. At a time when we need to change the way the community views us, this (and the Help in Hoole initiative) is a good way to do so.
However, any initiative like this needs to be backed by prayer. As you will see from the noticesheet, The Groves Church is inviting us to join them for an evening of prayer and worship on Monday 23rd November from 8.00-10.00pm. I know that many of us find it hard to pray on Zoom – I confess that I struggle as much as anyone – but if we are to see hearts and minds changed this Christmas, we need to cry to the Lord to work. This will replace the monthly Open to God which was to have taken place next Thursday 26th, so please do ‘come’ and take part.
You will know that we recently interviewed candidates to replace Helen Ellis as Children and Families Worker from January. After much thought and discussion, we decided that we couldn’t make an appointment and we now think it’s better to wait until the new vicar arrives to be involved in the process. I am delighted to say that Helen has offered to delay her retirement until Easter and to continue working reduced hours. We will look for a member of the Church to cover the role of Children’s Worker and another to act as Families Worker from Easter until (probably) the end of the year.
Along with the many other things which are going on at the moment, we are also beginning to think about who will do what during the vacancy. As people agree to take on responsibilities we will keep you informed, but I’m very pleased that Anita Benson has agreed to take on the oversight of the housegroups. I have asked John Benson if he will oversee the leading and preaching team, something he is well-qualified to do from his years of experience, and again I’m grateful to John for his willingness.
The wardens are legally responsible for the running of the parish during the vacancy but they will be assisted in that by the Standing Committee (Andy Creeth, John Chester [wardens], Alex Lewis [secretary], Garnett Carr [who we welcome as the new treasurer] and Jeff Turnbull [who joins Standing Committee as Vice-Chair of the PCC for the duration of the vacancy]) and also by the Leadership Team (Anita Benson, Vicki Bulgin, Sam DH and the wardens, who will join them to ensure continuity across all areas of the church’s life during the vacancy).
Finally, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement as we try to resolve the situation with Hoole Community Centre – I hope to be able to share better news abut that next week!
With love and prayers in Christ,