Happy New Year! And the start (unbelievably!) of my seventh year
here in Pattingham! (I moved in on 5 Jan 2009). So far the
weather this year has been much kinder than either that or the
following winter .... but writing this in mid December, who knows
what is around the corner?!
Each new year
is a time of discovery and wonder. Sometimes it is as well we
do not know what awaits us. Sometimes we yearn to find out what
the future holds. But on the whole, I try to counsel people to
live in the here and now. Giving our attention fully to the present
moment seems to offer the best chance of fulfilment and happiness.
Not an endless pining after what may (or may not) be waiting
That is not
to say that we should not plan for the future of course - and
take the appropriate action. That is why our stewardship campaign
"Digging Deeper" was launched back in October. And
that is why all our visitors to church over the Christmas period
were asked to contribute their ideas for "what do you want
from your church?"
The PCC and I spent a very fruitful day in early December trying
to think strategically how to develop our church life so that
the Christian faith continues to thrive in this community of
Pattingham. One of our conclusions was to try and find out from
our 'occasional' visitors - as well as from our regular congregation
- how we might serve them better. As a former Archbishop once
said, "The Church of England is the only organisation that
exists mainly for the people outside it!" And Christmas
with all its traditional and child-centred services seemed an
ideal opportunity to find out more. We hope to make St Chad's
not only the Spiritual but also the Social heart of the village
of Pattingham and the other communities we also serve - Burnhill
Green, Rudge, Patshull etc.
I hope too
that later in January we will be looking outside of our immediate
community and denomination to join with the Covenanting Churches
in Tettenhall and area. Why not join us at Perton on 25 January
at 4pm to see more?
The Church represents something eternal and unchanging - and
yet also needs to be flexible and responsive to those who need
it. The churchwardens, the PCC and I are all committed to following
the lead of the Lichfield diocese which has adopted five main
themes ; Discovering the heart of God; Making Disciples; Reaching
New Generations; Practising Generosity and Transforming Communities.
Will you join with us as we move forward into the new year?
and Happy 2015!