This letter to the parish was published in the September issue of our parish magazine.
I hope that you have had a good summer and are beginning to find things gradually returning to normal, although caution is still needed.
Here at both St. George’s and St. Margaret’s we are slowly creating our new normality. Over July and August, we saw the return of singing, which has been a real blessing and made such a difference to our worship. I found it quite emotional when the hymn numbers were on the hymn boards at the front of church for the first time in eighteen months.
On Wednesday mornings we have been trialling coffee in church after the service and the numbers staying to a drink and chat are increasing. It has also been good to see familiar faces returning to church, and some newer faces.
So, where do we go from here? What is happening during September?
In the main service at St. Margaret’s, we hope to return to having crucifers and lay assistants again, dependent on volunteers. If you are interested in either of these roles, please let me know. Our readers will be returning to using the lectern to read from and a team of sidespeople will be returning to meet and greet and hand out hymn books and service sheets. Once again, if you feel that you can help in this area, please let me know.
Although these may seem small insignificant things, they are real steps forward.
We anticipate opening church house for coffee from 12th September, which will be a good opportunity to catch up with each other and a big step forward.
In addition, there are several special events happening during September. September 12th sees the licensing of Revd Sue Walker as associate priest to St. Margaret’s and St. George’s. Sue has completed her curacy with us and is a self-supporting minister, which means that her role is voluntary. She will be offering the equivalent of 50% of her time to minster with us. The licensing will be at the 9.45am service, led by Bishop Mark of Bolton.
We are aware that there are people within our church family who passed away during the COVID period and many of us did not have the opportunity to say goodbye as funeral numbers were limited at the time. We will be having a memorial service on Sunday 19th September at 4.00pm at St. Margaret’s Church to remember those who were members of our congregation, to celebrate their lives and to reflect on how important they were to us as individuals and to our church family.
On Sunday 26th September Carol Porter will be commissioned as an Authorised Lay Minister (ALM). ALM’s have specific and very different roles. Carol Olive, as you know, is our ALM for worship and prayer so her responsibilities lie within those areas. Andrew Ginn is our ALM for pastoral care. Carol Porter is our ALM for digital technology within church – and we have seen her skills come to the fore during lockdown. We are very fortunate to be blessed with so many different skills and talents reflected in our ALM’s.
In addition to the above special events, we will be resuming our monthly service of wholeness and wellbeing on the fourth Sunday of the month, and we will be starting traditional evening prayer from the Book of Common Prayer on the second Sunday of the month. Both will take place at 4.00pm at St. Margaret’s Church.
We anticipate Sunday School returning during September at 9.45am on Sunday mornings. If you have any children or grandchildren who may be interested, please speak to Gillian McConville. Messy Church will also be resuming at the Lady Wilton Hall on Wednesday 15th September at 4.00pm. All children are welcome to join us to enjoy a range of craft related activities to explore our faith, have some food together and most of all, to have fun.
It has been good to see those who want baptisms for their children increasing and hopefully, this will continue in the months ahead.
As you can see, an action-packed September! Do come and join us for any of our services and activities. You are assured of a warm welcome.