When I first came some of you will remember that I talked about the parish being like a car in a garage that people came and polished and admired, then sat in and even invited others to sit in and sing songs, but never actually got out of the garage. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10 v 2 Standing in the Barn Jumping!!!
Hardington Vale has come a long way in the last five years and as I was thinking and praying about the parish and the way ahead I had a fresh picture that I fell much more beautifully summarises where we are now as a parish. (Particularly embracing training as disciples and what that means LICC)
Huge changes have taken place and been embraced by everyone. We are now a parish that has two main parish churches, Norton and Rode with Farleigh, Tellisford and Laverton being Chapels of Ease. Hemington as you can read in the Hardington Vale News is currently exploring being taken on by the CCT. Change is never something that is easy to embrace but you have and have done so incredibly gracefully. Thank you all because it really is a team effort. And that brings me back to my picture. A picture of a beautiful Galleon with teams of sailors on the deck each with their hands on the ropes of their sails and some where below the people straining at their oars to get us out of harbour. When I first started I did hear quite often: you need to delegate, you need to get other people to do things.
Hopefully now we are beginning to see that. There is:-
- The Leadership team – 4 parish wardens, vice chair of PCC and PCC secretary
- The preaching team
- The people involved with Open the Book and assemblies and supporting Sue with Holiday Clubs and children’s activities.
- The hospitality people providing refreshments after services and helping to bake mountains of cakes for other endless community and Friends events
- The music people who help us to offer a range of services with music ranging from the very traditional to mush more informal and contemporary. Not forgetting the wonderful choir that gets together for at least the major festivals and draws in people from across the parish.
- The pastoral assistants team
- The Eco thrust that we are all embracing across the parish – headed up by BarbaraThere does not seem to be one single person to single out to thank but indeed to thank you one and all.
- For working together.
- For supporting myself and Andy in all that we endeavour to do.
- For giving so generously of your time to do things, of your money to support things and people. We are incredibly blessed as a parish to have Sue Rodford as our children and families worker and her work in that role has been sterling (as I mentioned in the letter that I wrote to you all to invite you along this evening.) Also to have Ros Clarke as our administrator tirelessly beavering away in the office producing pew sheets, sorting all our paperwork and invoices, linking us together across the parish.
- For your prayers I am delighted that we are welcoming a good number of fresh faces onto PCC this year. Also that we are developing a culture of working together on these committees much more as couples. Hopefully so that we embrace the fact that we are all in this together!
- Dates going forward
- So as the good ship Hardy sets sail. Let’s keep ourselves ready as a united team to catch the breath and wind of the Holy Spirit under Jesus us our Captain with a vision to sail into the challenges of the year ahead. And there will continue to be challenges not least how we as a whole parish stay relevant, outward looking ambassadors of Jesus with our buildings as well as in our worship. Treasuring the old but embracing the new. The Leadership Team has been praying and exploring this and there is a PCC meeting on the 30th of April to draw the new PCC together and formalise how we continue to keep moving forward. Standing still is not an option.
- Culture-change for whole life disciple-making church 3rd May
- Day of Prayer – Christians together in Rode Chapel 17th May
- Laughing Jesus Exhibition 16th June – 28th June
- Stefan Buczacki ‘Churchyards, Churchill and Chat’ June 26th
- Oddments Theatre ‘The Hiding Place’ Palairet Hall 7.30pm June 27th
- Holiday Club 23rd – 25th July
- New Wine 5th – 11th August
- Parish Weekend At Home 19th – 21st October