Letter from our Rector, Mark:
New Year, New thoughts, New
January 1st always seems to take on a special significance – even if we don’t stay up to see
the New Year in. Somehow it seems like a new beginning; a time to make new commitments to
not fall into old habits, which is a good idea if some of those habits harm others or ourselves.
But by mid-January we have often forgotten the resolutions and gone back to the old
patterns, or we found out the mixture of fears or anxieties that have reinforced them for so
many years. The Christian New Year is not January but around December 1st! It is the
beginning of Advent – a time of hope and. anticipation not only for Christmas but for the
biggest hope of this year and every year – the coming Kingdom. We need God’s help and
grace to hear the message of angels, of peaceto all humanity, of knowing the joy of God with
us – God coming to us in order to save us that we may have a big enough perspective to see
beyond our own needs. I seem to have looked backwards rather than forwards! To December
rather than into 2020 and beyond. Or rather, I would see it as looking back to God’s loving
actions in the world which gives meaning and purpose to 2020 and the future. We work for
the Kingdom on the foundations of God’s presence and love through history. If we can
do that we can look forward in hope. This will be necessary for us as individuals but also for
our country as the world leaders continue to need wisdom (at least I believe they do!), as
the Churches need to trust in a God who is involved with his world and wants us to work
for transformation. One such sign is local churches considering support to a debt advice
service. Another is trying to ensure housebound people are visited more regularly.
Another is looking at how music and worship can develop. Small seeds, like mustard seeds,
can grow into symbols of hope. Let us hope there are many such seeds for our church,
town and country this year – living signs of God’s presence – through us.
News on the St Michael’s Community Rooms
We are delighted to be able to announce that
there will be a public exhibition which will be open on Friday 17th Jan 7-8pm and Saturday January 18th from 9.00- 12.30 in the present St Michael’s Rooms.
We’re hoping as many people as possible will come (we aim to serve refreshments
throughout) to take a look, share perceptions, express concerns (any plan can be improved,
but all have to include compromises) and learn what will be happening next.
It is important to stress the Community aspect of the project. The Church is very thankful for
the public money that is going into the project. The Neighbourhood Plan saw the need for
Community Spaces. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) grants from the new developments
have been approved by District and Town Council. This is designed to be a project to be
a resource to the whole.