Posted on 14 Apr 2014
Vicar's remarks at the Vestry meeting
Can I begin by asking you to stand as we spend a few moments in silence as we remember those from the Parish who have died in the past year...
In the Parish report I have included comments and a report from my self which is obviously limited by only beginning in the parish in December. I won't go through the report this evening.
However there are some things I would like to say.
Firstly I would very much like to thank everyone for the welcome that Helen and I have received. Beginning a few weeks before Christmas offered a great chance to get to see lots of people including those who attended the Voices in Harmony Concert and also the various school plays and concerts as well as services. It was a good introduction to the parish !
Secondly I would like to thank the wardens and officers of the church who played such a big part in keeping things running so smoothly during the interregnum.
Thirdly a big thank you to everyone who plays any part at all in the life of the church throughout the year - the church is the body of Christ and scripture reminds us that every part of the body is important so thank you to you all whether you are involved in everything, lots of things or just as a member of the congregation.
Moving on with that theme, the Diocesan vision is very much centred on the church as a body that gathers together, and fellowship both in a spiritual and social sense is tremendously important. In their lives some people compartmentalise things into their church lives and the rest of their lives, but even in church it's easy to see church attendance as what's all important. It is tremendously important obviously but it is only a part of what the church is about.
As a family we are to gather for all kinds of things and that is why the social life of the church is also very important. And at this point I would like to offer thanks to those members of the social committee who have worked so hard over a number of years arranging events which have raised a lot of money and boosted the social life of the parish.
The second part of the diocesan vision follows on from gathering and that is growing - growing in the likeness of Christ. As a church we must be committed to growth spiritually and numerically. We have a vision group in the parish and we must work to look at everything we do as a parish and ask questions about what we're doing, and why we're doing things.
Growing into the likeness of Christ comes as we seek to engage more closely with scripture and prayer but also as we serve others and seek to glorify God in all that we are doing. Constantly we must ask ourselves if we are the sort of church others would want to be part of - constantly we must ask ourselves what we are doing to welcome others into our fellowship and constantly we must ask ourselves what picture we are giving of Christ to people outside the church.
I think at all times we need to bear in mind the words of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, that I quoted in a sermon some weeks ago - 'The church is the only organisation that exists for the benefit of its non members.'
The third G of the diocesan vision following gathering and growing is going - going out in the power of the Spirit. I touched on this yesterday in my sermon but so often we lack confidence as churches. We have an incredible and powerful God who actually is still in control of things. Over and over again the church has been written off in history and yet 2000 years on from its formation it is still going strong - and growing strongly !
It doesn't mean that we can continue just as we have but it does mean we can have confidence in the future as we go out and engage with people in the power of the Spirit.
I have concentrated on the three G's of the Diocesan vision, gathering, growing and going but there is more to it as well - the full vision is "A family, rooted in Christ, committed to transforming lives by Gathering as God’s people, Growing more like Jesus, Going Out in the power of the spirit."
And so we are to be rooted in Christ and committed to transforming lives - our own and the lives of others around - the gospel is for all people and Jesus commissioned Christians everywhere as his ambassadors.
You will all have heard of the Church in Wales review and the various recommendations of it - one of the main recommendations is that the parish system in its current form should be replaced by groups of ministry areas. For us it will mean working much more closely with parishes in our deanery. We are actually one of only two ministry areas within the diocese that are likely to be made up of members of our existing deanery.
But it doesn't mean things won't change - the Bishop made it clear at my induction and has on many other occasions that things must change. The church system we have is not working effectively. Working together with other churches and a closer relationship between clergy and lay people will help to build a community of faith that is centred on a family but committed to growing and going out.
There will be lots of things to consider and moving to make this model of ministry areas work will take time, but there will need to be a realisation that increased lay ministry, some non Eucharistic services and services particularly designed for those who are not used to coming to church, more community engagement and perhaps more specialised ministries are things that we will see a lot more of.
Ministry areas will be the biggest change in church life in the Church in Wales possibly since it began. It may seem a little daunting and all change is a little bit frightening, but it is also tremendously exciting - as we recognise our need to grow, not to maintain the church as an institution but as the body of Christ, displaying his qualities and sharing his love.
And so may it be our prayer over the coming months and years that we gather as a family, loving each other and loving others as ourselves, that we are committed to growing through engagement with the bible and a closer dependence on prayer and going out confidently in the power of the Spirit building relationships that will transform lives, our own and others, as we enjoy fellowship recognising the power of God and his love for each one of us.
Posted on 14 Apr 2014
The Annual Vestry meeting was held this evening - thanks to all those who attended and those who have agreed to serve in various offices :-
Wardens : Sue Rumbelow and Cecilia Harding
Sub Wardens : Eve Manley and Mike Meredith
Treasurer : Tony Holt
Secretary : Davina Preston
PCC : Roger Harris
Deborah van der Watt
Posted on 01 Apr 2014
Mothering Sunday flowers were once again provided by the Men's Group and were distributed to all the ladies in church.
A wonderful morning service included items from the Sunday School - thanks to all who contributed
Posted on 23 Mar 2014
The Men's Group enjoyed a trip to the Gower a Brewery followed by a meal at The Greyhound in Llanrhidian on 20th March. Nearly 40 people had a great evening of fellowship with good food ! The next trip is bowling and a meal at Swansea Yacht Club
Posted on 13 Mar 2014
Two new members were enrolled today into the Mothers Union and two others were received in from other branches.
The afternoon continued with a text and parcels theme. People were invited to find a biblical text and read it out and bring along a corresponding gift which would then be auctioned off - great fun was had and £140 raised.
Posted on 01 Mar 2014
Excellent least of Cawl, welsh cakes and Bara brith served to celebrate St David's Day. Thanks to all who supported this wonderful social occasion and use thanks to all those who helped with the preparation, cooking and serving
Posted on 01 Mar 2014
The fairtrade wine tasting event held on 28th February was a great success. People had the opportunity to sample 8 different wines and it was a really good evening of fun and fellowship. A profit of £260 was made which has been donated to Traidcraft.
Posted on 24 Feb 2014
At the Family Service in St John's on 23rd February some members of the youth club spoke about the need for Fairtrade.
This is an important issue of justice and the parish have been great supporters of the promotion of Fairtrade. There is a opportunity each Sunday after the 10am service to buy products from the Fairtrade stall.
Posted on 12 Feb 2014
St David's Day Cawl
On March 1st as usual we will be celebrating St David's Day with Cawl and Bara Brith served in the Church Hall from 11am until 7pm.
Bring your friends !
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