Updated: Jul 4
Time, talents and service make for kingdom treasure! As a church family, we remain committed to progressing the mission of God even in these strange and curious times. As your vicar, I outlined some changes in the wider team by way of our small staffing budget and wider volunteer culture, in my most recent pastoral letter. I am glad to be able to let you know the outcome of our June PCC meeting regarding some of these value people resources in our shared life and witness.
Adam Graver is staying on team with us. We have really valued and appreciated what Adam has bought to church life over the past year as a Pastoral Apprentice not just in worship but also as a staff member and a willing participant in any and all activities particularly those that involve clearing up! A fond memory is of Adam working to remove a large cupboard at St Paul's when we cleared the area behind the red curtain and also sweeping the hall after the Light Party last Autumn. Adam has also supported some of the school's work and the Tuesday youth group. We welcome Adam now as a paid, part-time staff member in the leadership of our sung worship and in wider, online ministry.
Having stepped down from her employment last month Di Birmingham is offering her time each Monday in volunteering for church. I am very grateful that Di has agreed to give her time and talents particularly in the area of HR and she will head up a team that is responsible for HR and staffing as we continue to grow and pursue best practice. This, alongside pastoral care and willing service is very much appreciated. Welcome Di and thank you!
Emma-Jane Manning has come off furlough with effect from 1st July. Given the challenges and restrictions of working with children and young people face-to-face in these days, our PCC have had to conclude that there is no longer sufficient work for a full-time post. Emma-Jane has, therefore, been offered and accepted, a 15 hour per week contract, with half of her week producing online resources for our two local primary schools and her remaining hours focussed on producing online resources for our church families as well as an all-age slot every Sunday morning. We are very grateful to those who have given their time and offered their talents in the interim. Welcome back Emma-Jane!
Noah Douglas began with us on 1st July as a part-time Intern, with an emphasis in Media & Comms. He will be living with Julie and myself at The Vicarage for this next year whilst he serves in church life. Noah has already made a positive start and is looking forward to meeting you, albeit socially distanced, over the coming weeks and months. The banter at The Vicarage has significantly increased over the last few days as we now have a very full house! Noah is looking forward to developing his gifts, growing and serving here with us.
Pete Gower has agreed to volunteer in progressing the Annexe. Pete has been a member of David and Pauline's life group in Swanley Village for many years and you will see him in the next few weeks bring his story of everyday faith following the death of his wife from cancer. Pete is wonderfully servant-hearted and I am very much looking forward to sharing some of the project management load for the Annexe given his professional experience as an engineer.
I have been consistently reminded over the last few weeks that each of us has a part to play in seeing the kingdom increasingly established in our village communities; each has a talent, and gifting, for the benefit of the whole. Chris Waddington spoke powerfully a couple of Sundays ago about the one trumpet note that proved to be a blessing. What, I wonder, is your one trumpet note that you can offer for the good of the whole? Whilst these remain challenging days, they are also significant days where I repeatedly see the signs and substance of new life and growth. We wait with eager anticipation to see the 'treasure' that will result in the right people, with the right passion being in the right place at the right time - 'for such a time as this', even!
Please join with me in welcoming them, praying for them and encouraging them in their different roles