Happy New Year to all our parishioners,
I prepared this message before Christmas and as you read it, I should be falling over on the ski slopes! I return on Wednesday 8th January.
During the Autumn of 2019 a number of our parishioners attended the Bishop’s Commission for Mission – a course run by Winchester Diocese to empower lay church members to lead services and other work that the church does in our parish.
You will remember that Lavinia Owen became a BCM Pastoral minister earlier in the year and she leads our Valley Visitors
This time, Tim Clapp
and Julia Wright
are in the process of becoming authorised to lead services which do not involve Holy Communion, they will become Worship Ministers in Itchen Valley. You will increasingly see them leading non-eucharistic services during the course of this year.
Lucy Pease also completed the BCM Discipleship course and will take responsibility for leading our discipleship efforts as a Discipleship Minister- this is a more one on one sort of ministry.
In addition to these wonderful people, we have of course our amazing Licensed Lay Minister Gerry Stacey, who will continue to preach and lead at services once a month.
All of the foregoing will be part of our Parish Ministry Team going forward and have some input in the detail of the services and pastoral care which we run in the Valley, as agreed from time to time by the Churchwardens and PCC.
Also, we are incredibly fortunate to have a number of occasional preachers and leaders of services (whom I have selected and operate under my authority): James Greig, James Wright, Nicky Barber, John Barber, and Simon Ffennell. All of whom you will see leading services or preaching during the course of 2020.
The first outing of this wonderful team is on Sunday 5th January at our Family Service at St Mary’s Easton at 10am. Please do go to support Tim Clapp as he leads the service and James Greig as he preaches. Please do feed back to them (and to me) on what went well and what could be better (please make sure that you do both). Remember that the greatest encouragement for a preacher is for you to say something about a detail of what the preacher actually said – so please concentrate knowing that you are going to do that at the end of the service.