I wanted to make my first Rector’s Letter with a big thank you for the exceptional welcome I’ve received in my first week. I had a wonderful installation service and reception – there was, I’m sure, a huge amount of effort from a wide group of people involved in making that possible. As I’ve gone around the community over these last days people have offered such great warmth and hospitality. Members of Young Church sent me the following message:
We hope you enjoy it here at St Michael’s
Everyone in Young Church is very friendly
Lots of fun is had here
Come in sometime and get to know us better
Obviously we enjoy listening to Bible stories
More often than enough we make a craft
about the story we have heard
Each week we would love to tell you what we
have been doing at the end of the service.
My great thanks to them, to all our church family, our wider community and everyone who has given such a great welcome! All of this has been a great blessing to me at the start of my ministry here.
As I write, there is great uncertainty in our nation and I’ve no idea when this is published whether we will be in, out or still on our way out of the European Union! The debate ahead of and since the referendum to leave the EU has caused a great deal of division in our nation and in our communities: whatever happens on 29th March and beyond, I think it’s clear that the is a need for healing in our nation, in our communities and in our relationship with the rest of Europe.
One important thing that we can bring to this as Christians is to remind ourselves that history is ultimately in God’s hands, not those of our current leaders. I want to encourage us to pray for our politicians, for our nation, for our local communities. I offer this prayer to pray along with others across the Church of England:
God of hope,
in these times of change,
unite our nation
and guide our leaders with your wisdom.
Give us courage to overcome our fears,
and help us to build a future
in which all may prosper and share;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
With my Prayers and best wishes,