New Year Message from the Pastor

Dear Friends

All I can say is "now I can now relax for a few days", 2020 has been such a busy year!

I've learned a whole range of new skills,technological skills, and who knew that teaching online and having zoom meetings would be the order of the day and they just became ordinary and normal.

Over the last year we have managed to keep the church intact, we have managed to provide a service every single Sunday to every single church member and adherent. This has been no mean feat at all, my Fridays are now spent preparing a service, for Val to send out to everyone via email or by hand and I am indebted to Val for the extra work that this has caused her at this time. Not to mention the addition of a welcoming role in the church, which has seen even more people be involved in taking temperatures, completing a register and wiping down the outside bars.

When we have been allowed to meet for worship, we have done so in a Covid safe environment,chairs are two metres apart everyone wears a mask, front doors and back doors are open to allow a flow of fresh air, and we have merely sat in church and not sang at all.

During the first lockdown all the council members were given five or six people to ring and this ringing took place on a weekly basis, this enabled us to get to know each other perhaps better than we did before and has been a positive of the lockdown.

Nevertheless, as the year has gone on people have become more and more tired with lockdown and not being able to worship as we would love to worship, not being able to meet to provide funds for charities, not being able to meet socially for quizzes, coffee mornings, lunches etc. but at the end of the year we are still here as a church we are still working in the community, perhaps in ways that we haven't worked in the community before.

As we stand on the cusp of 2021 the future is even more unknown to us, we will have to continue as we ended theyear until an indefinite time in the future, we need be assured that whatever is happening in the World the love of God and the presence of Jesus has never changed. We can move forward into 2021 in absolute hope and expectation,we will be challenged as a church again, but I am convinced that with Gods help and with the presence of Jesus we will be able to meet each challenge head on.

I am indebted to the work of the church council who have continued to meet on a monthly basis (on Zoom) to ensure that the church survives and is strong and we support each other.

I have mentioned particular thanks to Val who has taken on a great deal of extra work at this time but also to all those who have stepped up to volunteer as readers in church, as welcomers on the door, those who have telephoned the congregation and others in the community to ensure they are well and supported. To all who have taken a genuine interest in each other during this time - a very big thank you.

God often called the early disciples out of their comfort zone, and certainly in 2020 we have been out of our comfort zone; but we move forward into 2021 with hope and with expectation. sure of God's abiding presence in our hearts throughout the year.

May God bless us, inspire and aid us as we move into a new year.


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