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Rural Dean's View - June 2012

Dear friends,

"Must be nice job only working one day a week Vicar!" said someone to me the other day. I think he was joking I usually reply "if you can tell me where that job is, I think I will apply!!" (only joking in return)

Let me share some exciting things which are happening in our Church at the moment.

CELEBRATIONS!!!!

1. Sunday (27th May) was the great feast of Pentecost. In our churches we are reminded of the story of the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, a few weeks after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

The disciples were all together, meeting in a room in Jerusalem, when suddenly they felt different, as though a rushing wind had filled the space, as though flames of fire had touched their hearts. The Holy Spirit had come upon them. They had changed – from frightened people - to confident proclaimers of the message of Jesus, as Son of God and Saviour of all.

In the churches we see this event as the ‘birthday’ of the Christian church. This was the day when disciples began in earnest to preach the Gospel message and in doing so bring more people into the fellowship of the Church.

The Holy Spirit continues to fill people’s hearts and lives, to blow away sins, to set on a new direction, to warm hearts with God’s love.

Happy Birthday to the Church!

2. Sunday 10th June is Deanery Confirmation Day. The service will be at St. Mary’s Church Haverhill, 3.00pm. We shall be joined by churches from around the Deanery. Haverhill is providing eight candidates this year and two candidates will be there from Kedington. The Diocesan Bishop, Nigel, will be preaching and confirming the candidates. Refreshments will be served after the service. In the morning tree will be a said Holy Communion service 8.15am in Withersfield, and a said Holy Communion service in Haverhill at 9.30am. It is hoped that as many as possible will come to be with the Bishop and candidates in the afternoon at 3pm.

3. July 1st is a very special day for the Church in the Benefice. It is the ordination of our new training Curate, Manette Crossman. Service is at the Cathedral Sunday 1st July at 10.00am. A minibus has been booked for those who cannot get to Bury St Edmunds. If you would like to be taken (and brought back!!) on the day please let me know. A list for minibus passengers will be placed at the back of church. There is no charge for this – covered generously by Castle Manor Schools Partnership (hire and driver fees) and by the Church in Haverhill with mileage and fuel costs. A service of welcome to Manette and family will be held for all in the Benefice on the evening of that day at 6.00pm. Guest preacher will be a friend and parish priest of Manette, Rev Canon Ian Morgan (Rural Dean and Rector in Ipswich). Refreshments will be served after the service at the back of church in the community room. Please do make every effort to come along to welcome Manette and her family to the Benefice. They will live at the Curates House, St. Mary’s House, Falklands Road, Haverhill.

4. The newly formed Mother and Toddler Group, meeting each Wednesday morning (10.30am – 11.30am) in the Community area at the back of Haverhill church, is growing in numbers week by week. Helpers are taking responsibility for running the Group and new people arriving each time. Local Tesco have donated play mats for the children and many people have given play things for the youngsters. We are short of storage space – but that’s a good problem to have!! Elevenses Church meeting on the first Sunday of a month continues to grow with new families arriving monthly and established members keeping coming and getting involved with the planning. Weekly Friday lunchtime Café Church is now established and many people come along to worship God 12noon to 12.30pm. All these new initiatives under the guidance and inspiration of our Benefice Missioner Captain Andrew Payne. We are blessed with Andrews ministry among us.

5. Most Schools in the Haverhill area are visited by our Church for assembly once or twice a term, helping our with some RE lessons, talking with pupils at upper school in meeting times, and I am Governor in two of the schools. Andrew is also involved with Town Pastors each Friday evening on the streets of Haverhill, and Chaplain to the local Police and Air Training Corps. We support Churches Together in the area. I have been asked to be the Borough Mayor’s Chaplain for the next year and will attend some functions and Borough Council meetings in Bury St. Edmunds Council Offices. It’s a privilege to be asked and shows the importance the Church still has in the local community.

The Church’s Birthday to celebrate, candidates to be confirmed, a new Curate to welcome, activities to support, the local community to be involved in – the Church is alive and active and very much ‘on the up’ in terms of growth and vitality. Don’t let the pessimistic voices be the only ones which are heard! The church is far from over in our Benefice – alive, active, thriving, serving, praising, growing. Yes filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t miss out – come and join us. You will receive a warm welcome – not just from the church community but from God Himself!!

So the Church is just for Sunday is it? - You must be joking!!

Rev'd Canon Ian Finn
Rural Dean

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Sunday 01 July 2012