From Tim Ormond January 2008
A very Happy New Year to you all !
I hope you enjoyed a very merry Christmas and are now prepared for the New Year. At the same time our thoughts and prayers go out to those who for whatever reason have been unable to join in with the festive spirit, perhaps through bereavement, or family difficulties or ill health. As we think about New Year resolutions let us not forget our neighbours in distress.
It is always exciting to see our churches so full over the Christmas period. The popularity of carols and of the story of Christ’s birth seems as vibrant as ever. We read of the dramatic drop in the number of those attending church on a regular basis but this does not necessarily mean a total loss of faith. So much of the ‘success’ of the Church (church with a small c denotes the building, Church with a capital C denotes those who worship within) is judged on the numbers attending Services. But this masks the considerable activity in bringing the understanding of God into schools, the workplace and wherever people meet. ‘Bums on seats’ are important because it is they who (in the main) raise the money to maintain our beautiful old churches but the true worth of the Church is reflected in the society in which it operates.
So, as we go into the New Year my hopes and prayers are not that we should see a dramatic increase in those attending church services on a regular basis (though that would be nice!) but that the message of Jesus Christ will be shared ever more widely and that the knowledge and the comfort of his presence remain with us in this life and the next.
Tim Ormond Minister
Editors: Please note that Timothy George and I were ‘re-badged’ as Lay Ministers by the Bishop of Salisbury last October. No change in status or knowledge but it was though that the word Reader meant little to those outside the Church (well and inside actually!). I prefer to be known by the simple title ‘Minister’ as the word ‘Lay’ seems superfluous – but I leave that to you. Love to you all, Tim
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