April 2018

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

In this letter, I have a variety of things I would like to share with you. However first and foremost may I wish you a Happy Easter and rejoice with you that, Jesus our Lord and Saviour is ALIVE!

HOLY WEEK

Throughout Holy week we have been reflecting on and retelling the wonderful, good news that Jesus is alive! Through, drama, readings, music, worship and prayer we have spoken to hundreds of people about the real meaning of Easter. Thanks to David Waterston (Church
Administrator), the church looked truly spectacular, with three large crosses acting as a centre-piece for all of our Easter activities. Seeing the look on the faces of the primary school children who were given a guided interactive retelling of Jesus’ last week on earth, made all the extra effort worthwhile. The wonderful truth of our God coming to save us through Jesus’ great sacrifice on the cross and His glorious resurrection was a privilege and joy to share. (Even if it meant that I had to act like one of the criminals on the cross.) Without the help of so many different people, none of this would have been possible and so I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff team and many others who have been involved in serving, hospitality, drama, worship and behind the scenes set up. I am confident that all of our community both young and old have had the opportunity to encounter God through the various special events that have taken place. Thank you!

WORSHIP SURVEY

I wanted to thank many of you who took the time to fill in our Worship Survey: we had 117 respondents. Overwhelmingly the response was positive and encouraging. Having looked at all the responses we have concluded that we will continue with our present patterns of worship in the morning with no changes to times. People appreciated the 8.30am service for both its traditions and for its quiet and more reflective style. The 10.15am service aims for us to be together as one big family and I know the provision of Kids Church and Youth Church
(Pathfinders) is greatly appreciated. There may be further discussion in the future of how we can develop a regular all age style of worship. Although not on the survey, we have realised that, for those who appreciate a traditional Anglican service with hymns, this is provided for in the Parish at St Paul’s Strines. We are blessed that we have three distinctive and different styles of worship in the Parish which enables people to engage and worship God in spirit and in truth.

The survey spoke very positively about the preaching at All Saints’. Several appreciated the
variety of preachers, that it was Biblically-based, relevant and challenging for people. 80% of those who did the survey were part of LifeGroups and there was an appreciation that teaching was thematic and linked to LifeGroups. We have taken note that people mentioned about length of sermons and that the use of visuals on screens could be more consistent. Also there seems to be a hunger for more openness to the Holy Spirit. We are already planning to do a mini series called ‘Naturally Super-natural’ in the Summer. Furthermore, we will consider preaching on God’s Big Story using the full sweep of Scripture, Old Testament and New, in the Autumn.

The evening service remains under review. There will be some evening services in April and May this year but with the response from the survey we have made the decision to have a break for June, July and August. During that time I would like to set up a steering group from within the church to decide how our evening services should continue. I have been very pleased to see how people have taken to the new format of the evening service but there is still work to be done to clarify the vision and purpose behind the evening service.

MISSION SHARES

We take tithing seriously in our church. As a church we encourage our congregation to give 10% of their income away as an act of worship to God. Nearly everything we do, from our work in schools, to CONNECT, and the general running of our church, is funded from the generosity of our people.

We too as a church tithe 10% of our income and so last year we were able to give away nearly
£30,000 to our mission partners and charities that we support. We divide our giving up into 30
mission shares and the PCC decide which mission partners to support. I write about this because there are three mission shares which have yet to be allocated. If any in the congregation would like to propose a mission partner or charity that they would like us to consider then please contact me via email: revdcurrie@gmail.com.

And finally

The PCC have agreed to give David Waterston a 3 month sabbatical starting in May and I pray
this will be a refreshing time for him. We have made contingency to cover the variety of jobs that David does as administrator including providing cover for the church office where possible.

I pray you have a wonderful Easter. I leave you with a verse from Romans that I have been
reflecting on and rejoicing over.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead,
He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
– Romans 8:11

Every blessing in Christ,

Daniel Currie (Vicar)

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