Dear member of the All Saints family,
Welcome back to our new term! If you have been on holiday, I hope you are refreshed and restored and ready for the coming new season.
This new Church Year is an exciting one, with our new Vicar, Craig, starting on September 26th. Craig, Gemma and the family have moved in to vicarage; please do give them time and space as they settle in before Craig becomes our new Vicar.
One new change that we started on Sunday was to sing in church for the first time. It was wonderful to hear (and sing) that enthusiastic worship as we praised the Lord together! We will continue with this pattern for both services which means that we can sing whilst wearing masks. Just to go through the arrangements again: we will maintain social distancing whilst in church; we ask you to wear masks whilst moving around church, but you can take your mask off whilst sitting down if you prefer, but please put them on again for singing and when standing for responses. There will be a dedicated no-singing area for those of us who will feel more comfortable with that.
Many activities will start again following the summer break. This includes Sunday Club, where we are planning to start in person on September 12th. Please see the notice sheet for details – we are short of helpers, so if you feel God calling you to help our 3 – 11s find out about God and what He has done, and also point them to Him, please get in touch as in the notice sheet. By the way, helping with Sunday Club is also great fun!
Homegroups start on the week of the 13th – as Anita Benson says in the notices, ‘these groups are a great way to get to know others in the church, to feel a sense of belonging, and to grow in understanding of your faith and in how to live as a follower of Jesus’. This is a good time to join a group, so please see the notice sheet for details of how to join a group.
Please do welcome newcomers to All Saints in the services, we know that many have got to know us through the online services, and we expect to see some as they come to join us in person.
Also on Sunday, John Benson spoke powerfully from Acts Ch 4. Following teaching in the temple courts, the apostles Peter and John were arrested and told not to speak in the name of Jesus. But they went back and prayed with the believers, asking that the Lord would enable them ‘to speak your word with great boldness’. John Benson first asked us to pray for those for whom speaking boldly about Jesus can be a death sentence, thinking of Christians in Afghanistan and other places for whom this threat is very real. This is something we can all do, and I guess at this time it is very important to do so.
John also sought prayer for the church as we enter this new church year and a new season – prayer for Craig and for us all, seeking the spirit’s guidance for the church’s ministry. Please pray for all of the church’s ministries as they start again after the summer break and our outreach including to our own frontlines. Please pray in particular for Sunday Club as we seek more helpers to run the group.
With best wishes and blessings,
Andy Creeth and John Chester, Churchwardens