Summer Letter from the Rector – July 2014

Dear Friends,

People tell me you are supposed to start slowing down as summer approaches. However, I find God seems to be as busy as ever working out his purposes and blessings among us. Looking back, the past two to three months have been a wonderful time of blessing in the life of the church.

April was, of course, focussed round our celebrations of Easter. Our Maundy Thursday service was encouraging, not only in numbers attending, but in being a moving experience as we reflected on the temptation and suffering of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. Following our united Good Friday service, hosted by our Baptist friends, it was great to see so many gather for Easter Sunday, when we were reassured that Jesus really did rise from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, the guarantee that all who trust in the Lord will too be raised to everlasting life. It is good to be reminded that our faith is based on solid ground and not shifting sand.

I'm sorry the Annual Meeting was long this year. It will be shorter next year, as I have requested that a number of reports be submitted beforehand in writing and distributed alongside the Annual Report. However, important information about finance and vision was shared. If you need a reminder or missed the meeting altogether, the full transcript of my message and a recording of it are available on our web site -

In May, the Confirmation Service proved to be a very uplifting experience. It was lovely to see six from our congregation confirm their baptism promises publicly. I thought Bishop David was tremendous in his message and in the way he conducted the proceedings. The month of May also saw us begin looking at the opening chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. I hope you have found these inspirational as we have reflected on the amazing growth of the early Church and what God is willing to do through his Holy Spirit.

This brings us to the month of June, where I feel something special has been happening - not only in our morning services (it was good to have John Dunnett from CPAS with us at the start of the month), but also in our two special evening services. It was very encouraging to have our Pathfinders and CYFA involved in the Christians Together in Elmswell Pentecost service and to think about the transformation the Spirit of God can have in our lives. And then to close the month we had a gentle, and yet powerfully moving, service of Wholeness and Healing. This was such a blessing and indeed the Spirit of Jesus has been at work, bringing healing in lives.

June also saw a very successful Summer Fair – many thanks to all who worked hard at helping and supporting this event, which raised much needed funds. However, what I particularly found encouraging was the supportive conversations taking place, folk from the community enjoying our hospitality and, of course, the Slam Jam Choir. Such events are about more than fund raising – they are a celebration of our being the Body of Christ and of enabling others to see and join us. This was also true of the recent Friends Coffee Morning, where there was great fellowship.

As I say, God has been very busy. He continues to be busy as we look ahead to our Church BBQ, the Holiday Club and our Summer services, which will be based around all-age talks looking at that inspiring man of faith, Daniel.

I do hope you find some rest in the busyness, this summer. But let’s not rest from the blessing and privilege of knowing Jesus. Indeed it is in him that we find true rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

In Christ,

Looking ahead to September:
  • 5 September - Harvest Horkey organised by Friends of St John’s.
  • 14 September - Harvest Sunday. A great time to invite a friend to this All Age celebration of God’s goodness.
  • 21 September - Vocations Sunday.
  • A new series looking at the first few chapters in Revelation – focussing on the letters to the 7 Churches.

  • Peter Goodridge
    Sat 05 Jul 2014