We are now moving forward into the interregnum feeling positive and keen to keep our church flourishing and harmonious. That is not something that happens “by itself”, and it is perhaps an appropriate time for us all to reflect on passages similar to the following:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4 : 10
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
1 Corinthians 12 : 4 – 7
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Passages such as these, amongst hundreds of others, gently encourage us all to do two things. Firstly, there is the opportunity to acknowledge and thank God for the gifts that He has given us as individuals. Secondly, we are then urged to put our gifts into action – to share together the work of keeping our church a living and cooperative group, rather than just a beautiful building where we are blessed to receive spiritual nourishment once a week. We learn that working together is a special sort of human pleasure, and that the many small acts that bring the “common good” are ones in which we can delight.
There are many tasks, large and small, which need to be done regularly, and which we need to share amongst those who enjoy coming to St Edward’s; amongst these are:
- understudying or helping people already in posts;
- cleaning – the silver, pews, floors, and washing – altar linen, tea towels
- flower arranging
- administrative tasks including setting up chairs for particular services
- sitting in the church to welcome visitors, especially during the summer months;
- preparing tea and coffee after services;
- being “sidepeople” at services, welcoming everyone who comes through the door;
- litter picking in the churchyard.
Especially as we head towards having a new incumbent in the fullness of time, it is important that we should come together as a more coherent group, whether that involves working together, or perhaps simply attending different services from those in which we feel most at home. And of course, we need to find the time to meet together to build one another up, share where we have come from, and where we are going, and to encourage and even challenge one another. Although cake and other “nutritious” refreshments would surely form an important part of such meetings, more important, and more refreshing by far will be the opportunity for us to point each other towards Christ, “the author and perfecter of our faith”.
On a practical note, if you feel you can contribute in any of the ways described above – or maybe in other ways that we have not thought of – please contact Jillian or Adrian (contact details on last page). You don’t have to be an expert in something to be able to help, full training will be given where necessary, and most of the tasks require only a small commitment of time.
At the moment we are especially looking to find more people willing to make coffee and tea after services. There are sign up sheets at the back of the church for these.
One thing that we would strongly encourage is feedback and comments from members of the congregation. We aim as churchwardens to keep everyone informed as to what is going on in the life of the church, but we also need to hear what is working (and what is not) and what your concerns are. We can’t please everyone in every way, but we take seriously everything that is written to us, and will try to respond in a way that best builds our church.
As well as hearing about practical concerns, we very much appreciate hearing people’s reflections and thoughts, whatever they may be, and it is our hope that this slightly richer newsletter will encourage everyone to play an active role, whether in agreement or disagreement, or simply because there is more that you feel worth exploring.