Jenny’s letter 19 November

Dear Friends,

On the 19th November 2013 I was licensed as Rector here at St Barnabas Bromborough. I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years. In that time my own life has had ebbs and flows just as yours will have done.

On that night my parents and my aunt, a cousin and the girls were there. Sadly, we cannot repeat that gathering though my daughter Anna and brother Andrew are both able to join the celebration alongside Julie my sister-in-law and Harry my dog. You thought you were getting one of us, but you have embraced the whole family and they in turn have served St Barnabas in many ways according to their different talents. I would not have been able to work so effectively here without the support and patience of all of them. I am grateful as I know you are too.

I am also grateful to each one of you whether church or community or both. I have intentionally wanted to focus our celebrations on all that we have done and continue to do together. The project to feed families at Christmas has grown from 6 in the first year to 60 last year. The Village Hall changed its name (to some of us it will always be the Institute) and is regularly rented out. The centre is now both a warm space and a free school uniform hub.

The churchyard is tidy, the bells ring as often as the ringers can get together and we have a range of different services to suite our differing worship preferences. Messy Church has a faithful gathering. None of this has happened without all of you. I am only one part of a great team of people who work to live out the mission of God here at St Barnabas and in Bromborough.

Increasingly, those active in church and community operate as one team which embraces and respects different views on faith but is joined by a passionate care for Bromborough and its people.

I clearly remember the divide that existed 10 years ago between the church and BVCA. The Rake felt like a wall rather than a road. On my first Saturday, the fair was happening along Allport and St Barnabas Church was closed. How wonderful it is now to see the grounds of the church and the buildings filled with activities both at Christmas and in the Summer.

This year the tree festival has 79 trees, which is more than ever before. Little businesses, charities, community groups as well as bigger businesses join to create an amazing display: a symbol of a community working together. We have one or two little surprises this year and the popular competition for best tree will happen as usual.

I know that for some of you, taking practical action is something confined to your younger years. I had a glimpse of that when my hip was so painful during the last 18 months. I did not have the energy or strength to lift or carry much as I would have liked. Though I now have a wonderful new hip, my body frequently reminds me that I am 10 years older.

If you are now confined to the armchair for whatever reason, I want you to know that you are still a loved member of St Barnabas and that we need you to take up the ministry of prayer. It is prayer that underpins all that we do and those of you able to devote time to praying for the Community of Bromborough and for the work of the church are as important as those whose participation is more visible. God sees all.

Like some of you, I am aware that in those 10 years, while our overall work has grown, we have lost many dearly loved long serving members of church. We oversee their legacy and thankfully grow that legacy as Jesus continues to build his church in Bromborough. What’s more, we have many new people who have joined the congregation and who have begun to contribute to the work that we do.

Yes, we have huge financial issues which puts us alongside the many of you who also struggle. Despite that, I have never been more excited about the future of our church and community.

With my love and thanks to you all,


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