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It is inspiring to read Cathy's words below on the way the Chapel is reaching out into the community. No talk here of sitting inside, waiting for people to venture in. The gospel is taken out into the community at every possible opportunity, in ways that are relevant, helpful and successful, in delivering the love of Jesus in a meaningful and unmistakable form that speaks to everyone it touches. Please remember our brothers and sisters here in your prayers this Sunday.
Cathy Craft writes:
Our Chapel, in the centre of the village, allows us to offer the use of our building to many village groups. We have recently become the location for the weekly Area Health Authority baby/toddler clinic.
Last month we were able to be the collection point for food donations to Ukraine and almost 60 boxes were packed and dispatched for onward transmission.
During the Jubilee weekend, when our Chapel was open for 3 days,
we held an exhibition each afternoon for the History Society;
decorated the outside with pebbles painted by local children;
hosted 'Tea on the Green' while the choir sang from our front steps
On Sunday afternoon some local musicians, playing from our forecourt, entertained us with a fitting finale for our village celebrations.
Each event at our building gives us an opportunity to bring people into our building, which for many is their first contact with Christianity.
Our regular church ventures continue to flourish and our Friday morning Open Doors is flourishing and is attracting new members.
Each One, Reach One continues to be our motto and with God's help we will continue to soldier on, despite our small, ageing congregation.
As always, many thanks for your prayers.
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Gill writes encouragingly below about new members, new ideas and new plans for the future as we together consider prayerfully how to meet the challenges of the gospel for this time and place. There is no doubt that we must embrace change, the gospel both offers and demands it from us now. Please hold Gill's words in your prayers and support the work and the workers of Aylesbury this Sunday. Pete
As we break up for the summer holidays our Boys and Girls Brigades are looking forward to their Awards evening, the first for 3 years, so it covers all the badges they have done over zoom during lockdown.
The numbers in Girls Brigade have gone from strength to strength over the past weeks after we held a "Bring a friend" evening and they have all stayed and joined our company, which is lovely to see and hear on a Monday evening.
We recently held an Afternoon Tea to welcome the new worshippers who have joined us during lockdown and it was lovely on Easter Sunday morning to welcome 4 new members into our church, with more now showing an interest and wishing to join our family.
It was great to welcome Matt Forsyth to AMC. He led a morning service and then a Circuit Workshop to help us look at future plans for all our churches going forward and to look at how we can improve what we have to offer. We ask for your prayers as we look at how we can implement the ideas that came from this workshop.
Love and prayers
Large organisations do not just function by accident, they are enabled and coordinated by a body of committed people who act as a steering committee. The fact that our Circuit runs so well is due to our Leadership team constantly ensuring that we are heading in the right direction with the appropriate gifts, resources and skills. Please remember them in your prayers this Sunday.
The Circuit Leadership Team (CLT) comprises Ministers, Circuit Stewards, the Circuit Treasurer, Circuit Meeting Secretary and Lay workers. We usually meet six times a year but can meet more often to address urgent business as and when it arises.
Each member of the CLT is automatically a member of the Circuit Meeting, which usually meets two or three times a year, but, again, can meet more often to discuss extraordinary business.
The CLT acts as the Circuit Invitation Committee (CIC) which is involved in the appointment of new ministers and in the consultation process for the re-invitation of existing ministers.
When I took up the role of Senior Circuit Steward towards the end of 2019, I was assured that "at least you won't have to worry about stationing for a few years" – how wrong can you be! The CIC has been extraordinarily busy finding a replacement for Donna based at Stewkley, as well as dealing with the renovation and decoration of the manse.
After being involved in the stationing process for a replacement minister we finally found a match from another connexion in Noreen Daley-Lee, who arrives in August from North Malling in Kent with her accountant husband, Clafton and their son Immanuel, who starts a new school year at the Stewkley Junior School in September.
Both we, as Circuit Stewards and the congregations at the Churches for which Noreen will have pastoral care, are looking forward to engaging with Noreen as she begins her initial five year invitation in September.
CLT, in the guise of the CIC, is going to be very busy for the remainder of this year and 2023 in seeking suitable replacements for Romilly Micklem and Keith Edwards, as they move on in their respective ministries, Romilly at the end of this August and Keith in August, 2023, after thirteen years service in the Circuit. We wish them both well in their new beginnings as we embrace the new challenges in seeking replacements, as part of the restructuring of the Circuit.
The CLT is responsible, with the Superintendent Minister and other ministers for the spiritual and material welfare of the Circuit as well as upholding and executing decisions of the Circuit meeting. In discharging its' responsibilities the CLT is sensitive to the needs of ministers and their families, keeping in contact with them and informed of the activities and needs of each Church for which the Minister has pastoral responsibility.
The CLT needs to have awareness of policies at District and Connexional levels which impact upon us and the Circuit. We are blessed in having a broad range of experience and skills in the CLT, but we are always on the look out for new members to supplement and broaden existing skill sets in the existing team. We are particularly keen for new blood with a property background to assist in our oversight of manses and other Church property.
In the past year we have welcomed two excellent additions to the team in Cathy Whiteway and Kathryn Trout and we are always looking to enhance the team, so please let us know if you know someone who might fit the bill!