Dear Church Family
It seems a long time since we had to close our church buildings and alter how we functioned as God’s people in Old Felixstowe. In this time many things have happened and we have had to adapt and learn new skills. Who would have thought that many of us would attend worship with a cup of coffee in our hand, slippers on and then sung in front of our computers – or for those of us who have returned to the building we would not be singing and have to wear masks?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued prayers and support for the gospel in this unprecedented period. I would like to particularly thank our communication and office manager David, whose skills and hard work have enabled us to offer worship throughout this time. Also, our wardens Jean and Judy who have responded to challenges you would never find in the warden’s handbook – offering wise counsel and making things happen. I would also like to think the PCC and elders for their adaptability, wisdom and willingness to step up and respond in a whole variety of ways. Lastly, I would also like to thank all of you who have looked out for your neighbours and friends at this time, dropping off a note or calling on the phone. The buildings have been closed but the church has continued loving God and loving one another.
Throughout July and August, I have been encouraging us all to take time to PAUSE – to Pray, to Assess reality, Utilise resources, Settle expectations and Explore possibilities. It has been good to take this time to slow down and listen to what God maybe saying to the Church in Old Felixstowe Parish during this peculiar time. We continue to listen and seek to discern the way forward.
As we look forward to the autumn and the winter it seems unlikely that we will be able to return fully to our church buildings in this period in the way we did before Covid 19. What we are planning needs to take this possibility into account and be sustainable as we move forward. The guidance from Bishop Martin means that the retired clergy are currently unable to carry out all their ministry in the buildings in the way they were, which limits some of the in -church services we are able to hold. We are exploring ways of offering some joint services with Walton and Trimley to add some different worship opportunities in a sustainable pattern.
It has been a pleasure to join with so many of you in prayer throughout the summer both in person on our prayer walks and online. From September we have reintroduced Morning Prayer in St Andrew’s Church at 8:30am every Monday, we will meet at 9:00am to Prayer Walk in the parish on the second Saturday of each month, and on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm we will meet to pray together over zoom. All these dates will be publicised via the newsletter and on our website.
Throughout the past few months I have spent time praying and talking with people about how we see the mission of the church developing as we move forward. What is the best way that we can seek share the Good News of Jesus with our community? Our call to be disciples and ambassadors of Jesus has not been put on hold by the Corona virus – we continue to be called to show and tell of God’s love.
As always if you wish to talk please do be in touch
Yours in the gospel