Weekend Away

Dear friends

Thank you for all you have fed back on the pink forms about the weekend away last weekend. It seems that the overwhelming majority of you thoroughly enjoyed being together as a church community, learning, worshiping and having fun together. Top of the list of the things you most enjoyed were: Fellowship, Teaching, Worship, Food/Cake (plenty of that!), Socials (great quiz – Colin and Tess), the venue/facilities and the children’s groups. 

Top of the list on ‘Things we could do better’ was: ‘Nothing’ closely followed by ‘The weather’ (hmmm!) and ‘Full programme in advance’ (good idea) and then a good number of individual comments/ideas which will all be taken on board and put into the melting pot for next time (whenever that might be!). 

We fully recognised that the accommodation was going to be a challenge and not ideal in some cases and that was always an area we struggled with. However we had to offset that with the range of facilities on offer and the cost per head for a full board weekend, which in whatever way you look at it was amazing value for money. In this way we felt that a weekend away could be inclusive of everyone according to individual budgets (with the option of local B & B's for those who prefer a little more comfort). 

We also realise that as our first venture with such a big group, it was going to be a learning experience and enable us to fine tune some of our planning and procedures for another occasion. Yet for facilitating and enabling this weekend to happen, we have to thank Jo for her amazing patience, resilience, attention to detail and her organisational ability.  She worked so hard to enable everyone to be provided for as well as she could (within certain constraints) in order to give everyone as good an experience as possible. So we thank you Jo for making this happen.     

Thank you too for all those who stayed here and enabled the Sunday service to take place. It seems the turnout exceeded our expectations and meant the church could be open to any visitors or passers by to enter in and participate in worship. 

Whether we were at home or away, we celebrate the fact that we are part of a church community in which we belong together, share resources and encourage one another as we journey through life. As we tell the story of our own journey and God’s faithfulness along the way so we find strength to comfort one another in times of need. 

Looking Ahead

Today many of us will be celebrating with James and Catherine Pickersgill as James is ordained at Gloucester Cathedral into the ordained ministry of the Church of England. We will be praying for them both as well as Annabelle, Martha and Zebedee as they enter into Church leadership and begin to serve at St Peter’s Church, Winchcombe. We know they are going to be such a blessing to that community and bring an impact for the gospel. 

Sunday 7thJuly

I’m sure we are all aware of our church family lunch together on this Sunday. We would like you all to stay and join us for a pig roast and use the anniversary of my 25 years ordained ministry to enjoy something of a party. We will be welcoming among us Bishop Pat Harris and my first Vicar, for whom I was his curate, Tim Atkins and his wife Anne. I hope it will be an occasion when we can continue to enjoy being together as the family of God in this place. 

Building the community of faith and growing together is very much part of what it means to be church. Over these summer months let us use every opportunity to enjoy time together, building friendships, sharing faith, seeing the Lord’s hand in the small things of life and rejoicing in his love. 

With every blessing in Christ 

Stephen