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A warm welcome from the Rector

Welcome to Spring, where we start to enjoy longer days, bluebells, noisy woodpeckers and the hope and realisation of warmth!

The Easter weekend gave us a glorious taste of that warmth and I hope you were able to enjoy the sunshine alongside family and friends as you celebrated Easter.

Our Holy Week and Easter services were an opportunity in so many different ways to give thanks to God for his amazing love and the blessings we enjoy and share; a hardy few even met at the top of the tower of Ash church on Easter Morning to greet the sun and the Son, the Risen Christ.
The prayer labyrinth at Ridley church has been a beautiful place of peace and reflection, so many have commented how that time of solitude and calm with God has been refreshing and calming – thank you to those that built and looked after the labyrinth and even though it has now gone (until next year) our churches are open and accessible all year round to spend some time away from the everyday routine just resting with God.

Talk of prayer brings me nicely to some forward thinking and the year ahead. In preparation for and to complement the Diocesan ‘Called to Grow’ initiative, which we will hear more about in the Autumn, we will be focusing in on five core Christian strands: Prayer, Worship, Discipleship, Nurture and Outreach – what do they mean to us, how do we do them now and how shall we take them forward. This is a really exciting opportunity which I hope we can all take an active part in.

The first strand is the foundation of all we do as Christians – Prayer – our daily and active relationship with God as individuals and as a community. This will link in well with Thy Kingdom Come, where we will join the global wave of prayer which calls all Christians to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ . Look out for more information about this over the coming weeks.

What will we be Doing? Talking about prayer, thinking about how we pray, considering different ways to pray and of course I hope be praying – at church, at home, out walking wherever it may be that you can spend time listening for and to God.

Praying for our neighbourhoods is really important and we are going to start focusing on one or two each month. I hope you will feel called to join me join me in a prayer walk and to drop cards through doors at the start of each month, particularly when we get to your neighbourhood!
Praying Together - You may like to join together for Morning Prayer or look afresh at your daily devotional time and new ways of spending focused intentional time building your relationship with God. If you have got any thoughts or ideas around this please do share them with me or other members of the Ministry Team.

My prayer is that together with the guiding and inspiration of the Holy Spirit we can energise and renew ourselves as church in this wonderful place we call home.

God Bless … Rev Helen.