Leonard explains the changes to our Sunday Service times…

Leonard writes:

Thank you to all who took the time to fill in the questionnaire regarding our morning service times. Each of our main Sunday services is valued greatly for how they enable us to meet with the Living God and be equipped to live for Him faithfully. As you may know the survey came as a result of discussions within the PCC regarding the pressure on the first morning service, both in terms of numbers (it is a full and growing gathering), and in terms of the time constraints before the second service begins.

The strong feeling from those of us dealing with both the day to day leading of Sunday morning and the overall desire to see us grow in Kingdom terms, was that we needed to make some change to help facilitate this growth. It is always good in these circumstances to seek to hear what God might be saying in and through the wider church family; and the comments section on the questionnaire certainly gave people that opportunity. It was taken up with enthusiasm, and not surprisingly – given our size and make up – pretty well every possible way forward was represented. For a few, any change could spell disaster; for a few others, anything other than root and branch change would do the same! In between these different end of the spectrum responses, there were other well-articulated views. For me by far the most helpful views were given with a ‘this is my view but I trust the leadership to make the right overall decision to enable us to remain faithful to God’s leading’ encouragement, because they saw that in any Christian community sometimes we have to willingly lay aside our personal preferences for the sake of others.

In the end, and as we expected it was in response to the actual questions that things became more clear. The outcome was that at this stage a swap of the services was not viewed with great positivity, whereas a small change in starting times was. The most popular option was to start the second service 15 minutes later, at 11.15am. So with a keen commitment to see that service end no later than 12.30pm, we are going to initiate this change for a season to see if it proves as helpful as we hope it will.

This is in many ways a very small if important change; yet I believe we need to be open to more change in the days ahead if it will better enable us to be the community God desires. That said, we need, as ever to move at God’s pace – so please let’s keep praying on all fronts as we seek to honour Him. To mention just a few things, with the recruitment underway of a staff member to head up our mission and evangelism; with the prospect of dealing finally with the current constraints of the building being active; and with Antony back with us, there is much exciting to look forward to!

To return briefly to Sundays, there will need to be a change in the pattern of communion as well, as the once a month 3pm Sunday service, which has run for a little while, is not to be continued. While it has been beneficial to those who attended, the numbers have remained small and overall have declined, and it has been resource-heavy in terms of people. So the 11.15am service will have communion on the first (with prayer for healing), third, and when there is one, the fifth Sunday of the month. The 9.15am will have communion on the second Sunday and the 6.30pm will have it on the fourth Sunday. ‘Canvas’ will remain on the first Sunday of the month, and as from February ‘Open’ will be the first Sunday of the month as well.

It will be great to pray on about all that the Lord seeks do in and through us – not least by joining in in our imminent week of prayer – thank you!

With warmest Christian Greetings,





12th Jan 2017 Posted in: News by Fran Varley 0

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