It’s been a fantastic Christmas and once again the numbers coming through the church have exceeded all our expectations. To begin with the Christmas tree festival was a great success on many levels and not only did the church benefit but so did our charitable giving. The most important element I believe about the whole event is the growth in our church family as more and more local people are reconnecting with their Parish church.
This was also seen in the increased numbers at the christingle and crib service. In fact on Christmas Eve alone about 350 adults and children came to one of our services which proves to me the church is alive. Scripture reminds us in the book of Acts 16:5 “So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.”
Jesus is often described as the light of the world a light shining in the darkness, a beacon of hope to a troubled world. My dream is that our new and regular church family would come together and meet at the service we love so well, the Eucharist. To make this dream reality our next step to is make one of our services an all age Eucharist where families and new Christians can come and find the worship understandable and more accessible.
There has been a lot of thought put into this new phase in our church life and I am asking you all to give it your full support as we welcome new people and grow as a missional church, and for that we will need help in John 15:26-27 we are reminded “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning”. It is a change but that doesn’t mean it’s not right and together we can go forward in opening up St Hildeburgh’s to others.
I hope that this New Year will bring us both consolidation in all the things we already do and new opportunities to reach out into the community. I also hope and dream that more people will share the ministry of the church and more will come forward to offer their help in the things we do. We are very lucky in the team we have but I am always aware of how much they do and you know what they say many hands make light work.
Part of our regular giving is not only in what we give but in the time we give and we desperately need both. Many of you will be aware that our Parish share has increased by 2.5% in line with inflation and my hope and expectation is that we will all consider increasing our giving by at least 2.5%. When we know our bills are covered we can get on with the important work that we are called to do, caring for God’s people and growing his kingdom.
Many of you will know by now that Ruth is about to have surgery and I would ask you all to hold her in prayer over the next few months as she recovers. I would also ask you to divert any work or questions from her to me until she is fully well.