Dear member of the All Saints family
Two significant milestones have been reached in the same week:
(i) The process for recruiting and identifying the next vicar for All Saints will have been completed by the time you read this letter.
(ii) The lifting of the most restricting Covid regulations which we have mostly been living with for over a year.
We hope you don’t feel that that is too much excitement to cope with in the same week!
We will not get to know the name of the next vicar immediately as there are other formalities to be completed before that can happen. Therefore, as well as giving thanks to God for his leading, for the qualities of each of those interviewed and for getting the church to this point, please continue to pray that the rest of the process will be completed quickly and well. Do also pray for the candidates who have not been successful on this occasion that they will know God’s leading as they seek his will for their future ministries.
On your behalf I, John C, who is writing this letter from both wardens, want to express the thanks of us all to Andy Creeth, Jules Tynegate, Alex Lewis and Rev Sam D-H for all that they have done on our behalf throughout this recruitment process. They have all done a great job, as have others too many to mention who have given much time and effort to support them in their key roles. Our thanks to you all.
It was so good to be able to hold two services last Sunday even though we couldn’t sing. Thank you to everyone for patience and understanding as we continue to try to ensure we comply with all the appropriate Covid regulations. Christina has done a great job of reading the government guidance and then drawing those regulations to the attention of service leaders, wardens and welcomers. We can’t emphasise too strongly the continuing need to protect ourselves and others by complying with them. Therefore, can we remind all who attend the services of the need to vacate the building as quickly as possible at the end of each service and to then move away from the tower door (the only exit we currently use) so as not to cause difficulties for others who are waiting to leave the building. Also, the car park is by its very nature a place where vehicles are coming and going so please, if possible, find a grassy area on which to stop and talk.
Service arrangements will alter from time to time so please do remember to read the weekly notices in order to keep up to date with changes.
On the first Sunday in each month up to and including August preachers will be speaking from their ‘Favourite Psalm.’ Recently my attention has been drawn to Psalm 20 in which we are reminded that we can bring blessing to others as we reach out to God on their behalf and rejoice with them as God answers.
V4-5, “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” Then we read a wonderfully evocative verse – V7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
There was a great up-to-date reminder over the weekend of how, as we trust God, we can involve him in every aspect of life. In one of the football matches a goalkeeper totally unexpectedly and skilfully headed a winning goal for his team in the last few seconds of an almost make or break game. During interviews after the game he spoke about the heartache he and his family had experienced earlier this year when his father tragically drowned in Brazil and went on to testify about God’s goodness and to thank God for giving him the ability to do what he had just done in the match.
May God bless you as you seek to continue to serve him and to support one another.
John Chester and Andy Creeth, Church Wardens