‘Renewing the Foundations’

St John's interiorSunday 8th November – A Special Day at St John’s

10am:  A service of Holy Communion, Blessing and Recommissioning to conclude the ‘Healing Wounded Churches’ Process.  Led by Antony Spencer, Russ Parker and Bishop David.

A summary is included below but please download the pdf ‘Renewing the Foundations’, for a full account.


6.30pm: ‘Looking to the future with thanksgiving and celebration for God’s grace on St John’s’ led by Bob Dunnett.  Download the pdf


This account of the 10am service has been compiled from various sources. Photos were mainly taken by Frank Herbert. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

Russ, Antony and Bishop David


We welcomed everyone to a full church – about 500 adults and children gathered for this special service. We especially welcomed Bishop David and Russ Parker and thanked them for the part they would play in the service.

Outline of the Service

Antony led us in a short act for Remembrance Sunday

Marcus and the worship band

Marcus and the Worship Band led us in songs of worship

Russ Parker

Russ Parker gave us teaching on ‘The Ministry of Blessing’

To listen to the podcast of Russ Parker’s talk please email The Church Office for the link.

Children at the front

As we sang a worship song, the children joined us from the hall so that together we could receive instructions on blessing. (It was very moving seeing the children squeezing in at the front of church).











We declare with thanksgiving what we have discovered and hold to be true:

That we worship one God, father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose image we are made:
That Jesus Christ calls us to reconciliation, to unity and the search for it, for the sake of the world He loves and for which he died and rose again.
That unity is the Spirit’s gift and healing is the Spirit’s work, a gift we gladly receive and a work in which we are called to share.
All this we believe, and in this we rejoice.

Recognising the differences that remain between us, and acknowledging with sorrow the hurts we have caused one another in the past, we commit ourselves:

To continue Christ’s work of reconciliation amongst us all:
To go on praying and working with each other for the unity of our church in the way Christ leads us:
To respect and uphold one another in prayer, and to cherish and practice the Good News of forgiveness and grace.
All this we believe and to this we commit ourselves for the love of God, in the way of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Blessing the water



Children and adults nearby the four places where vessels of water had been placed were asked to lay hands on the water as Russ prayed blessing over the vessels of water to be used to bless the places of ministry.
Various teams were sent out to bless the places of ministry:
Ben and the BishopBishop David joined the children as they blessed the halls, the crèche room and the upper room.

Mark Watson and Bev Reynolds led young people as they blessed the prayer room and the school where Pathfinders meet

Three designated teams of adults travelled to bless the Vicarage, The Crossway and the Church Offices at the Old Sewing Factory.

Blessing areas of ministryThe remaining adults were invited to dip their fingers in the blessed water and to go round the building to declare blessing.

During this blessing over one another, Russ invited us to give blessing to Antony Spencer. There followed a very moving tribute as people rose to their feet in a spontaneous and extended time of applause for Antony. Then Russ anointed him and declared blessing on Antony on behalf of us all. Russ also mentioned that we declare blessing on the staff team.

Holy Communion and anointing with oil

Bishop David then presided at Holy Communion.

Adults and children shared Holy Communion together and each person was also offered the opportunity of being anointed with oil as a sign of their commitment to be part of renewing the life of the church. The words of anointing for each person were: I anoint you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the renewing of your life in the service of Christ in this church.   Amen.

Once all had received communion or a blessing and anointing, adults and children gathered together in the Sanctuary for some words of encouragement and blessing from Bishop David.

Bishop David wrote afterwards to Antony and said of the morning: ‘There was a real sense of openness to God and common purpose’.

Children in the hallBen Baker explains what happened with the children during the service

“As the adults and young people gathered in the sanctuary, Movers & Shakers and Strong Towers gathered for their groups and the rest of the primary school age children gathered in the main hall.  Following a short act of remembrance and time of worship, we explored some of the key themes of the morning.”

Ben and the children

Ben’s full account is included on the pdf ‘Renewing the Foundations’






Refreshments in church



Following the dismissal, the Sanctuary was cleared and refreshments were served, followed – sometime later – by Lunchtimelunch for those who were able to stay. This time of fellowship added to the sense of togetherness we shared and helped to make this such a significant day.







6.30 Service

We gathered again to reflect on some aspects of the history of St John’s led by Bob Dunnett.  He talked about the ‘DNA’ of St John’s being centred on the teaching of the Bible as the word of God; a new dynamic of the Holy Spirit being added to the existing biblical foundation; and the fact that World Mission has always been a mark of St John’s.

His full talk is included in in a pdf which can be downloaded here




19th Nov 2015 Posted in: Hidden Posts by Stella Jennings 0

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