Spring Letter from the Rector – March 2014

Dear Friends,

I hope you have been finding our morning series, “I’m glad you asked that,” both encouraging and challenging to your faith. It is good to ask these questions. At the beginning of his gospel, Luke says he is writing so that his friend, Theophilus, may know the certainty of the things he has been taught. It is my desire that we will all become more confident in our faith – confident in our own salvation, confident of our eternal future and confident to share with others the reasons for the hope we have.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what is happening with pastoral care. A short while before Mike left, he trained up a small group of pastoral helpers. I have now met up with this group on two occasions and we have had some great discussions on how St John’s can provide pastoral support.

I see us providing pastoral care for one another in a variety of ways. Firstly, I am very encouraged by the way a number of people in our fellowship visit people on an informal basis – simply to check that others are OK or to see if they need anything. This unassuming act of Christian concern shows us to be a congregation with a deep concern to love our neighbour as Christ taught us.

Secondly, pastoral care occurs naturally within our small groups. We have a number of small groups that meet during the week to study the Bible and pray. The small group setting is where we can get to know other Christians more deeply and many pastoral needs are met through this supportive network. I am planning to start a new small group to meet on Wednesday evenings after Easter. Do let me know if you would like to be part of it.

Thirdly, pastoral care is provided by our Prayer Chain. If you have anything you would like prayer for, please contact Lisa on 240512 (email ) and she will pass the request onto the people signed up to the Prayer Chain and they will pray for the need.

We have recently introduced Prayer Ministry after Holy Communion on the third Sunday of the month. Pam Millyard is helping me get together a small team of trusted individuals, who will take turns to be available in pairs in the Gardiner chapel after the service. If you would like to receive prayer simply pop along to the chapel. My desire is to see the Gardiner Chapel utilised more as a prayer space and we are rearranging some of the furniture to enable this.

There are also plans afoot for a Healing and Wholeness Service to take place early one Sunday evening in the summer and a Time to Remember service in the autumn, to which people facing bereavement will be invited to come and remember their loved one(s).

Finally, the pastoral helpers and I are looking at the best way at supporting people who are ill, housebound or simply need a visit from one of us. If you are aware of anybody who would like a visit, please let John Richards, Rachel Ives or the Rector know and they will be added to our list.

There is much more which could be said – I see many encouraging signs of God at work in our fellowship. I believe that God is blessing us deeply at St John’s and preparing to take us on an exciting journey of spiritual growth. But let me finish by quoting Paul’s words towards the end of 1 Thessalonians.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.


Peter Goodridge
Sat 22 Mar 2014