Vicars’ Blog – June 2021 – The BIG Welcome

On the 21st of June we hope that many of the Covid restrictions will lift, and we will be able to greet one another and meet again. In our church, we are looking forward so much to being able to chat together before and after services and to catching up with all our news. Some people in our church have joined since Covid restrictions and may not have been to a service in the building yet! We should be aware that some of us may feel more cautious and some may be ready for hugs all round!!

 

We would love as many people as possible to be part of our Big Welcome team. Their remit is to wear big smiles and serve great coffee, creating space for the wonder of God’s family relationships to happen in our midst. Please be in touch with us vicar@waltonparish.org.uk or Sally sally@waltonparish.org.uk to add your name to the team for all our congregations. Let’s give old friends and new a BIG Welcome! We look forward to being drawn closer together as a church.

 

While keeping our service pattern unchanged during June, we will be experimenting with bringing the Zoom services into the buildings. The leadership are continuing to listen and gather people’s views about what our priorities as a church should be going forwards. We will be sharing a survey this month where we hope you will share your thoughts and views about our priorities going forward.

 

 

Caring for God’s Planet

A Rocha and the Church of England have teamed up and invited us as a church to become an Eco-church. A Rocha says ‘Our vision is for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully. Help us bring that vision to reality by participating in Eco Church.’ We are so grateful to Janet Todd and her team for heading up this initiative for our church. This is something we can be involved with in our individual lives and as a church family. Let’s care for God’s planet together.

 

We first became aware of A Rocha when it was part of Crosslinks – the Missionary organisation we were part of when we served in South Africa. A Rocha has grown and developed since becoming a Christian environmental organisation and has been working through churches to promote good care for God’s good earth. The gospel is good news for God’s earth. We are delighted to be able to participate in this initiative at such a crucial time for our planet. Let’s do all we can as a church family to care for God’s earth. It would also be great to win an Eco Church Award.

 

 

Farewells and Congratulations

We will be very sad to say goodbye to the Oehring family on the 4th of July, but also very excited to see what God has in store for them as Alex takes up the post of Rector of St Bartholomew’s and Holy Trinity, Colne in Blackburn Diocese. Alex, Katy, Charlotte, Rosanna, and Iona have been a wonderful part of our church family for the last three years and they have shown us what it looks like to live as a Christian family with care and love for everyone. Alex’s preaching reveals his passion for the Gospel, and they have been servant-hearted in their ministry to us all. We will miss them.

 

A huge thank you to John and Linda Muggleton who are transferring their ministry to St Mary’s East Molesey where their daughter, Mary’s husband Nate is now incumbent. Linda’s ministry here, including running Toddler Groups for many years, has been filled with love and care and it has been extraordinary how God has used the Alpha course under John’s leadership over the last 18 years.

 

Congratulations to Vlada Rakin who will be ordained priest on the 3rd of July at Guildford Cathedral. He will then be able to do all sacramental ministry including presiding at Communion as he continues his curacy. Congratulations to Caroline who has completed her curacy training and is now a fully-fledged Assistant Minister.

 

We are thankful to be part of such a great church family and excited as we look forward to what God has in store for us over this next season.

 

Jonny & Cathy Blair