I don’t think that any of us could have envisaged that as we approach the anniversary of a year since lockdown began in England, that we would continue to be in lockdown a year later due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We are people of faith and hope and the vaccine and recent roadmap to end lockdown brings us hope and we continue to pray for an end to this pandemic.
There is much to celebrate as we look back on 2017.
In August we said goodbye to Mark, Becci, Josie and Ethan after just two years with us. Whilst this was a shorter period than we initially expected, the role which Mark left us for fits perfectly with his gifts and passions. I would like to record my thanks to Mark and the rest of the family for everything which they contributed to life and ministry at St. Peter’s and beyond while they were with us.
There is much to celebrate as we look back on 2017. It seems to me that hardly a Sunday goes by when we are not privileged to welcome someone new to the 11am service. The 9am and 7pm Sunday services continue at similar levels to previous years.
Our outreach to those who we don’t generally see on a Sunday continues to grow and several of these initiatives are detailed elsewhere in the report. Food Bank has continued to serve those in need and early signs are that 2018 will be the busiest year yet. We have run various CAP money courses during the year. SPARKS, our group for 0-4 year olds and their parents / carers on a Friday morning continues to thrive. We regularly have 40-50 children and those looking after them at each session.
During the sermon series on Revelation I invited both individuals and groups to write the letter that they believed Jesus would write to the church of St. Peter’s today. My thanks to those of you who chose to engage with this process and to spend time prayerfully reflecting on what Jesus would say to us as a church. These letters were shared with the church family in February (2018) at a “Vision Morning”. From the letters and the discussions, we have a basis for re-casting our vision as a church for the future. A key challenge for 2018 will be to find the strategy to implement our vision, and to seek to ensure that everyone plays their part in building God’s Kingdom.
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Jon Randall (Vicar) 01733 240339; email@example.com
I believe that we have much to celebrate and to be thankful for as a church family as we look back on 2016.
Inevitably, a review of this sort will miss out some things, but perhaps I might start at the end of the year with Christmas. The church was packed for our annual Carol Service; there really was no room at the inn for the Crib Service attended by around 500 people and many of our other services were well attended too. However, one highlight of Christmas for me was Beer and Carols at the Three Horseshoes. This was the first time we had held an event like it and we were overwhelmed by the numbers who attended. Again, it was standing room only in the pub. A wonderful evening of carols, reflection and fellowship enjoyed by pub regulars, others in the local community and members of St. Peter’s. I am grateful to the landlords, to Mark Fuller and to our worship band for making this evening possible. I hope it will be the first of many such occasions.
One aspect of Beer and Carols which excites me is that it is a direct response to Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples”. At no time did Jesus say that we were to sit in church and wait for people to come to us. For sure we should welcome people when they do come in to the building for services or for any other reason, but our primary call is to take the Gospel outside of the church building and into the local community – be that the pub, the shopping centre, the doctor’s surgery, or wherever. I hope and pray that we will all be inspired by the success of Beer and Carols to do more to take the Gospel into our communities. Our faith is something we should wear on our sleeves and not hide wherever we go.
I wrote last year that one of our challenges for 2016 was to re-consider our vision as a church. As I reflected and prayed on this throughout the year and listened to your comments I concluded that there was nothing wrong with our vision. What is needed is not a new vision for St. Peter’s. Rather, what is needed is to encourage more of us to help implement our vision. Our biggest challenge in 2017 is, I believe, to embrace fully this vision and to live it out 24/7.
Read the full report.
Read the minutes from the meeting on 2nd April 2017.
I believe that 2015 was a really exciting year for St. Peter’s and the Kingdom of God in Yaxley.
As I sat down to write this report I was very aware of how much we have to be thankful for. Indeed, the many ways in which God blesses us formed the backbone of the sermon series on The Beatitudes in the early part of the year. This feels the right place to record some of the ways in which I believe God has blessed us as a church family in 2015.
This is also an opportunity to reflect on how God is challenging all of us as we move into 2016 and beyond. I said last year that I was convinced that there is a real spiritual hunger in Yaxley and beyond. I remain sure of that and I wonder if our greatest challenge in the upcoming years is to engage with this spiritual hunger and to look for creative ways to enable the people of Yaxley to engage with the Good News and the Kingdom of God.
Read the full annual report.
Read the minutes from the meeting on 24th April 2016.