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Bryn writes...

On Monday 27th March I will have been priest in charge of St John’s for three years and I have been priest in charge of Ewloe since March of last year. Both churches will be celebrating anniversaries this year and we look forward to welcoming Bishop Gregory on these occasions. Both congregations have lost faithful members this year and we continue to pray for them as the anniversary of their death comes around – “Eternal Rest Grant unto Them O Lord.”

 We have also rejoiced with families whose children have been married in our churches and we pray for them all as they start life as a married couple.

When I was appointed I was asked to make a statement for a press release and it is as follows “ I look upon this new role as a challenge and an opportunity, mindful that the renewal of the church does not come from the reorganization of structures but from creative impact upon the daily lives of all those who live in the community.”

I may have said the same or something similar in last year’s report. This year however I think change is being felt far more keenly by everyone. We are being asked to embrace new structures and new ways of doing things, new ways of dealing with finance and administration, we are being asked to increase our congregation numbers. Along with all that we are being asked to give more of our time and resources to make our Mission Area of Borderlands successful and vibrant, an organization that proclaims the gospel with joy and confidence. Sometimes I think it’s a big ask but I know your all up to the task.

I have responsibility for two very different churches and sometimes I need to be creative when it comes to liturgy. My biggest challenge is time management because the invisible work – sitting at my desk, filling forms, dealing with phone enquires, writing sermons and fulfilling my responsibility as a school governor, occasional hospital visiting, and of course there are pastoral concerns and the occasional offices which need a sensitive and compassionate approach, giving them as much time as I can.

I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement – as you know I’m reluctant to name individuals as I will inevitably miss someone out and cause hurt– so it’s a BIG thankyou to all of you who see to the efficient and smooth running of both churches in so many ways.

What’s my hope for the future? It’s simply this – to see greater community involvement in the life of our churches, to take the Good News into the communities where we live and work, to strengthen the relationship between The Church Holy the Spirit Ewloe and St John the Baptist in Penymyndd. Our focus must be on the development of Borderlands and we must look beyond the traditional parish boundaries as we knew them – I accept it is a challenge but one we must embrace. Its important that we play a full and active role in the running of Borderlands and at the same time preserve our distinctive identity.

Finally, a question I’m being asked quite a bit lately “when you will finish – when you are going?” The answer is simple I don’t know – some days I feel that I could go on – other days I’m not as positive, and I get tired. I’ve just completed my review year and in the interview with Bishop Gregory I asked if I could stay until I was 70 (next year) and he was gracious in allowing me to do so. In all this I need to say thank you to Jan she’s always there – always giving me support and encouragement and without her help and encouragement I couldn’t do half what I do.

Thank you to you all.

Yours in Christ.