Dear members of the All Saints family,
The changes in church life that we have been looking forward to will soon be on us:-
- Craig, Gemma, Hannah and Phoebe will shortly be moving into the vicarage and preparing for what we pray will be a happy and blessed family life in Hoole. There will be more about that in the letter next week, but do keep praying that their transition will be smooth so that they all settle quickly and that Craig will have an enjoyable and fruitful ministry.
We appreciate that we will all want to give the family an enthusiastic welcome to All Saints. The time between their moving in and Craig’s induction is to allow them to settle at their own pace. With that in mind, we do need to give them time and space to do so and to be guided by them over involvement with the church and individuals.
- Following on from what was written in the letter last week, the necessary H&S procedures have now been completed which means that, starting this coming Sunday, we will be able to participate in worship in a way that is closer to what we are accustomed. In both services we will be able to sing, albeit wearing masks, and to engage more openly in other aspects of our worship. We will still be socially distancing and so ensuring respect for the need we all have for safe space.
We will also have the option of not wearing a mask when seated, but are asked to put them on whenever there is congregational participation. Understandably there will be those who will want to continue without singing, so there will be a dedicated no-singing area for those of us who will feel more comfortable with that. This has all been made possible because we have a revised risk assessment which the rural dean has now approved. Thanks to Christina and Paul for the revision.
There are bound to be a few hiccups so we ask for your patience. The intention of all who are involved in the planning and conducting of services is to achieve, as far as is possible, a safe and secure worshipping experience for all who attend our services. The Bible makes it clear that God our Father enjoys receiving the praises of his people. We hope this whets your appetite for praising him this coming Sunday and beyond.
Date for diaries
September is just ‘around the corner’ which means our monthly Open to God is starting again. This is on 1st September at 7.30pm in the church centre. There is such a need for God’s people to join together in prayer at this time and to give thanks for what the Holy Spirit is doing in ensuring God’s purposes are fulfilled. Please do try to attend. Whether we pray out loud or silently is a matter of choice, but there is, as we all know, power in prayer when God’s people come together and are of one mind and heart in wanting to see his purposes fulfilled and seeing Jesus glorified. We don’t only pray for local things. The people, Christian or not, in countries where large numbers of the population are being treated very badly need prayer and we have the freedom to openly intercede for them.
As we think of what is happening around the world, and especially with Christians and others in Afghanistan in mind, we want to finish the letter this week with a focus on a wonderfully comforting and encouraging Bible passage, Romans 8, with the theme – Can anything separate us from the love of God? “No, in all these things (see verse 35) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Verses 37-39.
Much blessing to you all.
John Chester and Andy Creeth, Churchwardens