RECTOR'S september pew LETTER

 

Holidays.   I do hope you all had a great summer.  Our highlight was camping on Lundy Island (in the Bristol Channel) where we were nearly blown away by the remnants of Hurricane ‘Gert’.  Some other tents were blown away but mercifully ours stayed up.  One night I admit to lying there and rebuking the wind following Jesus’ example.  I’m not sure the wind dropped but my prayer was answered indirectly in that the tent remained up and Lucia, instead of demanding that this was no longer a joke and wanting to catch the next boat home, actually regarded the whole sleepless episode as being a great adventure!
 
We are now up and running in the new term: children all back at school, peace in the house, my quiet time & bible reading back on track and three batches of blackberry jam and one of damson chutney made.  It has been a flurry of activity at church too:  Emma King is slowly handing over the children’s work to our new Children’s Pastor – Tom Brice; Rosie Hayes is up and running as our Operations Manager; George becomes our Outreach Pastor and Jacob Ash (the son of our Pastoral Worker’s Jo) has started on a one-year internship and is doing some caretaking duties in Church.
 
Alpha has started with a good group.  I sat next to a young man who George Pinnegar had invited and who said rather enigmatically that he was ‘from Luton and keeping a low profile in Buckingham’.  The following day someone brandished a gun (it was in fact a BB gun – not a firearm) at Subway in town.  It turned out to be the same young man (who is now residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure).  It is marvellous that we are reaching these lost sheep who are far, far off from the Lord.  That really is why we’re all here: to do what Jesus taught about – going after the lost sheep.  This episode reminds me that it is a messy, fraught business but we need to be up for the challenge.
 
End Times.   There have been times recently when one could be forgiven for thinking that the end of the world was nigh.  My children have certainly challenged me by suggesting that the earthquakes, hurricanes, wars and rumours of wars are all happening so Jesus must be returning at any moment.  The answer is of course that these events are all indeed signs but we will never know the time of Jesus’ return.  What do we do in the meantime?  We don’t just wait for Jesus to come and clean everything up, we keep doing out utmost to lead people to Christ and to make the world a better place.
 
Serving.  I am conscious that particularly in the evening service we do attract quite a few regular visitors – those who might well be worshipping elsewhere but who come to BPC for a spiritual top-up.  This is great but we do struggle at all our services to find committed people to serve on one of the many teams that are needed to support the services.  I really want to encourage everyone to be a part of one of the service teams.  It could be welcoming, making teas and coffee, helping with the technology, setting-up or clearing-up.  Some teams do require a regular commitment but others really can be done once a term.  If more people stepped up life would be a lot easier and the services better.  If you’d like to help do let Sue Fox know at [email protected]
 
Connect Groups.  Revd Michael Greig continues to give much needed leadership to our connect groups and I’d really like to encourage everyone to be a part of one.  They meet in different places, at different times and at varying frequencies so there should be one to fit everyone.  If there isn’t why not start a new one?
 
The Future of our Benefice.  You should be aware that your PCC is in discussion as to the restructuring of our Benefice.  It is looking likely that our five villages will form their own, new, benefice of East Buckingham and that we may be joined by Stowe Parish Church to form a smaller Buckingham Benefice.
 
Re-ordering.  We have been planning for over a year to create a new welcome space at the back of church and a new coffee area.  It has been very complicated as the space is used by so many groups.  However we have a plan and I hope you’ll see some changes before too long.  The fabric of the building will be unaltered so whatever we do can easily be put back as and when needed.  The kitchen will I hope be getting a new commercial fridge and freezer.  This will make things far easier for our chef teams and also make complying with food safety regulations far easier. 
 
Parish Weekend Away 29th Sept – 1st Oct.  Although we now have nearly 140 people coming we may still be able to secure extra accommodation if there are any latecomers. Full details are on the website and fliers also available in Church. 
 
Services on Sunday 1st October.  With all of our ministry team at the weekend away there will be no 9.30am service.  The 11am will take place (a ‘service of the word’) as will the 6pm where we will celebrate Holy Communion.  Don’t forget that there is a traditional communion service at Nash at 10am.
 
Holiday Club was a huge success and we are looking forward to next year’s.  The dates are 6-10th August so get them in your diary now.
 
Office Space.  With the staff team increasing in size we are looking for some cheap (hopefully even free) office space for about 6 people.  If you have any ideas please let me know.
 
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.   If you are interested in joining a Benefice pilgrimage to the Holy Land in September 2018 do please see the website for details www.bpchurch.uk/pilgrimage
 
Database.  If you don’t receive the weekly update via email it is probably because we don’t have your details on the website.  If that is you, please let the office know your contact details so we can add you.  It is really important that we are able to contact as many people as possible via email.
 
Electoral Roll.   Not on the Electoral Roll?  Forms available at the back of Church. 
 
Some Dates for your diary …

  • Monday 2nd October – Prayer & Praise 8-9pm.
  • Sunday 8th October - Harvest Festival at the 11am.
  • Saturday 14th October - Traditional Harvest Supper.
  • Sunday 22nd October- Benefice lunch in BPC.

 
with much love,