Lent should be well and truly underway - almost past - by
the time you read this. So how has it been for you? A time of
spiritual refreshment and re-engagement with the Gospel? Or a
time in the desert, battling with your particular demons as you
struggle to give up this or that? I know which I prefer - but
maybe there is a place for both in the sort of lives we lead
I have a couple of particular requests to put to you this month.
Firstly, I hope that everyone who normally expects to
produce a report for the Annual Parochial Church Meeting
(the APCM) has now got the message that I would like these all
to be ready well in advance. In fact they should be done by now!
I know that puts a certain pressure on people (including me!),
but there is a very good reason behind it. I hope that very shortly
you will be able to pick up a pack or booklet of these reports
from church, well in advance. This will mean that on the 19th
April at 7.30pm we can look forward to a brief, business-like
meeting and election of Church Officers and then be back home
(or wherever!) soon after 8pm. It can be done, I assure you,
and makes the APCM a whole lot more enjoyable. So, why not come
to the Youth Service that will immediately precede it? You may
discover something new and enlivening!
Secondly - we urgently need people to come forward as
volunteers to help lead the Holiday Club - there was a
notice about this last month - but it is getting pressing. The
HC will run during a week in August (the date is still be finalised
as I write this) and is a really important part of our Church
life here in Pattingham. A really important part of our witness
to our community. At a time when maybe families will be feeling
particular strains and stresses, it would be so good to be able
to offer to children a week of fun and exploring faith together
- and I am sure the adults will find it great fun too! If you
could help in any way, please phone Karen on 700918 or Gladys
This is just the sort of activity that will be a key part of
our Mission Action Plan - maybe a new concept to some,
but the subject of our meeting with the Bishop, Archdeacon and
other local PCCs on March 24th. My previous parishes were very
hesitant about the idea when the Bishop of Shrewsbury launched
it some 4 - 5 years ago, but even the most traditionally-minded
individuals were forced to admit that it did help focus our thinking
and planning, and in time started to produce real results. And
anything that encourages local people to see the church as 'theirs'
- a place of welcome, joyous celebration and also somewhere to
find peace and comfort - has got to be good.
Easter services are fast approaching and I look forward
to experiencing my first Holy Week with you as your Priest-in-Charge.
I really appreciate and draw strength from the prayers and songs
that have come in recent years from the Iona community (I'm very
excited about visiting there for the first time this Summer!)
so will leave you this month with the Blessing of the God of
The blessing of the God of life be ours,
The blessing of the loving Christ be ours,
The blessing of the Holy Spirit be ours,
To cherish us, to help us, to make us holy. Amen.