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Rev. Peter H Smith B.A.                        Our new Mission Statement:
“At St Peter’s we aim to be a place where God’s love works for all”

From the Vicar,

Often, when writing this article for the December / January magazine I mention services and events coming in the New Year. Like yourselves we receive numerous cards from family and friends and sometimes the sender will update us on their family and what has happened over the last year. And you know my philosophy…if you see a good idea…use it!

So, what have we achieved as a church that we set out to do in 2017? Vison 2026 gave us food for thought and challenged us to think more about mission and outreach for the future. In light of this I asked members of the church and the PCC to come up with a new mission statement as the old one was not fit for purpose and too wordy.

It was agreed that we would adopt a shorter one which is: “At St Peter’s we aim to be a place where God’s love works for all.” I hope you like it, we felt it was to the point and easier to remember.

We also wanted to reintroduce Bible Study as part of our regular habit as a parish and so I introduced Pilgrim (an authorised enquirers’ course provided by the Church of England) which has proved to be a very popular group and encourages open and honest discussion; and where nobody feels left out or undervalued and has proved very refreshing for those involved. It is a very accessible course, resources are free and each book covers six weeks (one evening a week, an hour and a half per evening). Each book has a theme and we have just finished Book Three on The Ten Commandments. Early next year we’ll go onto Book Four, The Beatitudes. Please look out for this being advertised and do consider joining us, it does work and we have fun as well!

Another of our attempts to attract people into church was to open the church every Monday and Wednesday afternoons for an hour and a half for any visitors who wanted to either spend some quiet time or just look around our historic building. We started this in September and stopped at Advent, with the help of several willing volunteers being around. I extend my grateful thanks to you all. Unfortunately only one person took us up on this, right at the beginning; so please advertise this to your friends and family etc, as we hope to begin this again in the New Year. Again watch out for when we advertise it on Facebook and the website or notice sheets and magazine.(People complain that churches are closed and yet when we open it, nobody comes!)

As happens every year since I came here, we are currently running our Confirmation sessions and I am pleased to tell you that we have twelve children and two adults who should be confirmed on Sunday 21st January next year at the 10:00am service by Bishop Julian of Blackburn.
So, lots to celebrate and lots to keep working at! We are a great family parish and so many of you do so many things; I could not carry out my ministry without your prayers, support and encouragement. Thank you for all that you do.

Finally, a reminder: Lorraine and I don’t send Christmas cards except to close family as we normally send a cheque to Derian House or St Catherine’s for the amount we would normally spend on dozens of cards. So, I hope you all have a joyful and blessed Christmas, don’t forget the real reason we celebrate this season and we look forward to 2018 with renewed hope and vision for St Peter’s.

Yours in Christ