Vicars Letter - September 2017

JEREMY’S JOTTINGS

Dear Friends

As our thoughts turn to September and the move to the autumn, so times are moving on for us here at St.Mary’s. I wish to focus on a number of areas in this month’s letter.

Firstly, I am delighted that Lynn Parish was elected as our new churchwarden at our special church meeting at the end of July. In addition, George Jones, Ian and Frances Knight were elected onto the PCC, giving us a full complement of PCC members which is very good news. We do, however, still have three vacancies for the Deanery Synod so if you are interested in representing St.Mary’s at what is an exciting time for Warrington as we look to work closer together as Church of England parishes, then do let me know. The other significant thing to mention from that meeting is my sincere hope that having spent a considerable amount of time there (and at the previous APCM) focussing on tithing, services and parish share we can now move onto other matters, namely God’s mission through us in this place.

Secondly, we are having another focus on stewardship beginning on 10th September and culminating in a Harvest Thanksgiving Service on 1st October. This initiative will consider how we use both our money, time and talents in God’s service, and so resource His mission here. May I ask you to prayerfully consider how you use each of these three things and then respond by completing and returning the two forms in your stewardship pack which each member of the electoral roll will be receiving. As 1 Chronicles 29 reminds us, ‘All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own, do we give you.’

Thirdly, with the sale of the Church Hall now finally completed (at last I hear you say!), the PCC will continue to think about how it best uses the proceeds to further God’s ministry and mission. One of the things which the PCC recently agreed to seek a faculty for was the introduction of a new heating system, as recommended by our church architectthrough our most recent quinquennial inspection. Our application to the Diocesan Advisory Committee was approved at their meeting on 27th July and following the required notice period we can then I hope get on with installing the system sometime early next month.

Finally, this will be my last letter for some time as I commence my study leave on 18th September until the end of the year. Clergy in Liverpool Diocese are allowed to take such leave every seven years (though I last took study leave in 2006) and the purpose of this is to allow them time to have a period for rest, relaxation and refreshment through time away from their normal duties. I am hoping (subject to Emma’s health) to spend some time looking at the subject of clergy well-being and what sustains clergy over the course of their ministries. As part of this, I hope to spend some time visiting the Sheldon Centre in Devon, a centre which has a specialist ministry for clergy, and also go on retreat to Bardsey Island, a site of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages off the LlynPeninsula. Lastly, I hope to join the final stage of the Just Walk to Jerusalem through the West Bank, a walk organised by the Amos Trust, a Christian charity which is seeking to promote equal human rights for all who live in the Holy Land, whether Jew, Christian, Muslim or those of no faith.

Thankyou very much for all your practical support and prayers for Emma, Elizabeth, Josie and myself in recent months. We are very grateful indeed. Please do pray for Lynn, the members of the PCC and all our team clergy (stipendiary and retired) who will be supporting St.Mary’s whilst I am off.

Yours in His service

Jeremy Tear, Pioneer Team Rector

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