Dear members of the All Saints family,
We write this letter mindful that in a normal year August is a time for holidays and that many people head for far flung places. Holidays should mean relaxation, refreshment and enjoyment. Our prayer is that, despite there being fewer opportunities for many of us to leave behind our usual routines, August will be a stand-out month this year.
Our two services last Sunday felt a bit like that as the opportunity was taken to do things slightly differently to a ‘normal’ Sunday as both services finished outdoors. Thanks to all who made this possible. The 9am service ended with 2 hymns and a prayer outside and it was so good to hear one another singing God’s praises. The 10.45 All Age service, which was on the theme of fruit in the Christian life, ended in the orchard with everyone having fellowship and some enjoying fruit of their choice.
Another stand-out moment at 10.45 was a visit from a family on holiday. It was thrilling to hear that the lady’s grandfather, Rev Patrick Gell, had been vicar of All Saints over 60 years ago and that her parents were married at the church. One of our congregation remembered the family which obviously meant a lot to our visitors. No prizes for guessing who that was, but in case you need a clue her initials are Y H.
It was so good to have opportunity for fellowship outside and to welcome our visitors in a relaxed fashion and to get to know better those who have more recently joined us. It was all a timely reminder that we should remember with gratitude before God not only those who have recently died and those who have moved on, but also those who have served God in All Saints down the years. We are reaping the blessings today.
We see clearly throughout the Bible that God’s desire is that we should enjoy life. In the parable of the Good Shepherd Jesus taught that his (the Good Shepherd’s) purposes for his sheep (all believers) are very different to those of Satan (the thief). The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus says he came that his followers may have life and have it in abundance.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 Amplified Bible
Whatever we are doing throughout August let us remember with thanks that God desires that we enjoy ourselves in a way that honours him.
Finally – A Farewell
We are saying au revoir, but we hope not goodbye, to William Barber this coming Sunday. William is marrying Moira later in August and moving away from Chester. We wish them both God’s richest blessing in their life together. William has had a number of roles including as a member of our welcoming team and has always had a friendly greeting for those arriving at church. You will be missed William.
Much blessing to you all.
John Chester and Andy Creeth, Churchwardens