Taking Stock: A new year blog

6th Jan 2016

I know it feels like a long time ago now, but I still want to say Happy New Year to everyone. I took the first week of the year off to spend time with my family and ride my bike. Despite a violent bout on food poisoning on Christmas Day, it was a time of refreshment and rejuvenation after a busy Christmas period. It is wonderful though to be back at St Peter’s. In this blog I want to look back for a moment to Christmas before looking forward to the year ahead and some of the plans we are making that I’d love to share with you all.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. Christmas at St Peter’s was an incredible time. Our first Nativity for Everyone was an immediate hit. There were some amazing outfits and costumes! Thank you to everyone who joined in and invited friends. Thank you Juz for encouraging us to try something different. Our first Carols by Candlelight was a full house. The church looked beautiful and the choir sounded fantastic. Thank you so much to everyone who made that happen. I particularly want to thank the Churchwardens and John Tigg who helped ensure the mince pies and mulled wine were ready for everyone to enjoy after the urn broke down just before the service! Midnight Mass and our Christmas Day service were both bursting at the seams too. We had so many visitors throughout the Christmas season. It was amazing! Well done to everyone who invited friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.

After a number of changes in 2015, this year will be a time of consolidation as we think about living life together as a family on mission. Our sermon series will reflect these themes. Series such as ‘Ordinary: Learning the Rhythms of Everyday Discipleship’, ‘Oikos: Family on Mission’, ‘God at Work’ and ‘Disciplemakers’ will focus on St Peter’s as a community following Jesus together. Other series such as ‘Romans: The Gospel Paul was not Ashamed of’, ‘Unbelievable: Learning to say Something Worth Believing’, and ‘Saved: How does He do it?’ will focus on our mission of sharing Jesus. As part of this focus on living life together, we are also launching a School of Theology this term. If you would like to get to know your bibles better and grow as followers of Jesus, please do join me on Wednesdays from February.

To support the life and growth of the church, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has rightly decided to focus our resources on people rather than the building. To that end, we want to make two key appointments to the staff team in 2016. All of you will, I am sure, want to join me in thanking Androulla for all that she has contributed to the life of St Peter’s. She will be a huge asset to All Saints Harrow Weald. We hope to appoint a new Operations Manager in the next few months. This is a key role that is central to all that we do at St Peter’s. So please pray for the appointment process that is underway. Having moved to three Sunday services, we’d also like to appoint a Worship Leader to support our fantastic team of musicians as we pursue the presence of God together. Please pray that we can find the right people for both of these roles.

I believe this will be a significant year in the life of St Peter’s as we make room for others to join us and our two morning services grow and establish themselves. To that end, can I encourage you to join me on this Tuesday at 7.30pm for Kingdom Come? Worship and prayer is the foundation of everything we do. What better way to start the year than to offer it to God together with the rest of God’s people in this place? I hope to see you there.