Jenny’s letter 14th April

Dear Friends,

I have just had an incredibly busy Saturday in the Village Centre. First, I attended the wonderful cooked breakfast which was prepared by Linda Hughes and Sue Jones, with help from Zoe and Thelma. It was busy all morning with a procession of people calling in. I gather it will be regular but not every month. Our special thanks to them and all who attended as part of the reason is to raise money for church. 

From breakfast, a number of us went to the monthly prayer meeting – moved from the first Saturday as I was away. We had so many things to be thankful for. The Car Boot Sale raised £558.63 which includes £100 from the village Centre takings. Thanks to Julie Gordon and team and Thelma for her help in making the Centre catering happen.

Sadly, the Silent Disco that was planned for the end of the month has been cancelled. It was not specifically aimed at church people but because of Easter and the school holidays it didn’t capture the necessary interest. The new date is 26th July 2023. You will hear more in future. 

We also able to give thanks for the small but slightly increased number of children at the 11.00 am service on Sunday. Read in the notices about the extra help that is needed to support this growth. We can also be thankful for the number of people who attended events and worshipped with us over Easter. Where the general trend is for the shrinkage in size of churches, ours is very slightly moving in the opposite direction. We are growing.

We have a way to go to get back to the numbers in 2019 but Sunday is only part of our ministry. We hold services on Wednesday and Thursday every week as well as our monthly Messy Church. Praise God for the movement of his Spirit in our community and remember that you are part of that growth too. Pray for opportunities to invite others, sustain the wonderful welcome that we have but make sure it doesn’t just end at coffee but continues during the service and into the week. 

There are things for us to pray for as a church too. Our Annual Church Meeting will take place on Sunday 28th April after the 11.00 am service. At this meeting, we need to elect two new Churchwardens. I have had one serious volunteer and a couple of ‘might do it’ people. I don’t want to be bending any arms up people’s backs but equally we cannot work as we are with just one warden.

There are also new people needed for the PCC which meets once per month except August. Could this be you? Pray too that we will be able to nurture and develop our growing and skilled group of lay leaders. The next step is to find a way for us to meet, perhaps quarterly. Our finances will continue to need our prayers – there will be more on that next week and some of the news is good. And finally, for now at least, please keep our CMS link missionaries Marcio, Naomi and their children in your prayers. News about them comes to you with this newsletter. 

After prayers and a short break, many of us then gathered to celebrate Anne Ellis’s 90th Birthday. She has been a faithful servant of St Barnabas throughout her whole life, carrying on the legacy of family members for generations before her (there are a lot of Ellis’s in the churchyard). We all wish her a very happy birthday when it happens on Tuesday. I for one am the richer for knowing her. 

The Easter Anthems, which are traditionally sung in the church at this time of the year, begin thus: ‘Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us, so let us celebrate the feast.’ May you continue to celebrate the joy of Easter in your lives throughout this week. 

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