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Rector's View - July 2010

Dear friends,

I would like to begin my letter this month on a personal note. Thank you all very much indeed for your kind thoughts, prayers, cards, letters, gifts, and messages of care and support received during my recent illness. Your friendship, thoughtfulness and concern mean a great deal to me and to Anne, and helped to ensure a quick recovery.

What would make the Church more relevant and attractive?

Initial results from the survey have highlighted a number of areas we can work on as a Benefice. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us by giving us your views. At the time of writing, all of the results are not yet in, but we have already identified several areas of need, which we will do our best to respond to.

Firstly, a significant number of people have said that they would like to find out more about the Christian faith. We, in the Church, are sometimes guilty of making assumptions about what people think and believe, but for many people they are not sure, or are still exploring. To try to respond to this need, I would like to run a short course in the autumn. Over perhaps five or six one hour meetings, we could meet together informally, with no pressure or expectations, to explore what Christianity is all about. There would be plenty of opportunity to discuss, to ask questions and to listen to each other in an atmosphere of openness and trust. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in attending such a course, please let me or a Churchwarden know.

Secondly, there has been quite a lot of interest expressed in the wider use of music in services. If we are able to achieve this it would not, of course, be instead of the more traditional services, but in addition. Many people value traditional services as the source of their spiritual refreshment and discipleship and that position is respected and honoured. However, for others, the use of other instruments, a music group, and singing group, enhances their worship and their encounter with God. A particular opportunity to find out how much interest there may be in this is presented by the Benefice Service at 11.00am on 8th August. This will be in the grounds of Aspen House, by very kind invitation of Paul and Sue Long. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in singing or playing an instrument at that outdoor Service, please contact me in the first instance. If this is successful, I would hope that it could become a regular feature of our Benefice life. At that stage I would hope that we could find someone who would be prepared to be Musical Director for the group(s).

Clearly, we cannot do everything at once, but I think these are two good places to start. As more survey results are analysed, more initiatives will be announced in due course.

You can now read the latest news around the Benefice and in the wider Church on the Benefice blogspot. Please go to the following: http://bansfieldbenefice.blogspot.com/. This can also be accessed from the Benefice Website home page.

Stephen

Rev'd Stephen Abbott

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Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011