From the Clergy – June 2017

The Vicar Writes……

I would like to express my thanks to all of you who work so hard to make this a fabulous church which is worth joining.  President Trump has just completed 100 days in office.  I have almost completed 200 days in office, and I know which office I’d rather be in!

I’ve said it before but I want to thank all of you for making both Peter and I feel really welcome.  The Churchwardens, Robin and Margaret, could not have been more helpful and we’ve been touched by the many well-wishers who’ve sent cards and presents.

I don’t think I could have picked a busier time to begin.  Both Christmas and Easter have fallen within the 200 days not to mention All Souls, Remembrance Day, Popplewell Service, Christmas tree lights to name but a few.  My retired colleagues Carol, Heather and Alan have guided me through those special times and I’m so thankful for their help.  Together with Jean we are working out our shared ministry here.

There’s also been many funerals, baptisms and 1 wedding!  Not just here but also in the wider team.

It’s a time of adjustment for us all as we get to know to know each other.  I’ve learnt some things about myself as I adjust to a new way of life.  I’ve not quite got there yet as you will notice in May’s Magazine, and bless all the Office team who have been incredibly patient with me when it comes to the weekly service sheets.

It is a great privilege to be here and serve this village as its vicar.  We know there’s a long history to this church, good times and bad times, the church was almost derelict at one point in the eighteenth century.  Some of you have been coming all your lives, others are more recent incomers, but however long we have been associated, now we are all part of the story of this church.  We all have our gifts and talents to offer to ensure its continuing growth.

When I came to look round last year I was very impressed by what you have achieved.  The re-ordering and the other facilities give this church tremendous potential.  It’s an ideal centre for mission.  I am always frustrated when churches spend so much time and energy on trying to pay their Parish Share and maintain the Church that there’s no time or energy for the real reason we’re here – sharing the Gospel with those around us.

We have such a lot going for us in Blackrod.  We have a central location in the community.  Not just that, but such a landmark for miles around.  People know we are here.  We have a respected place within the local community too.  We take part in civic events such as Remembrance Day and service, Popplewell Charity, Christmas tree lights, Civic Sunday and Mayor making.

We have a church school and contacts with all those families.  We have our groups.  Our own groups, but also our building is used by those with no other connection to us.  There’s such a lot to be positive about.

But we mustn’t get complacent.  We must be thinking ahead to look for ways in which we can be a blessing to Blackrod and the wider world.  That’s why we’re here.  Just before I came someone said to me. “Oh we are looking forward to you starting.  We want someone to tell us what to do!”  I’m not here to tell you what to do.  I can put forward ideas, give some guidance and perhaps some inspiration, but we are going to decide what to do together.  My role is of an enabler.  I’m here to enable you to be the people of God here in this place.

In July the PCC is having an Away Day to explore some ideas for the future.  I have some ideas about how we can engage with young families but I want to hear what you think we should do too.  So the question I want to leave with you today is “What do you think we should do next?”

Think about it.  Talk to each other.  Pray about it.  I’m sure there’ll be some fantastic ideas that will enable us to grow and be God’s people here for another few hundred years!

God bless you all, Angela.