It is good to be back with you; even if it is only a short time before we leave. Coming back it is exciting to see how much progress has been made on the roof and I cannot wait for it to be finished.
It’s also been exciting to see how things have moved on. The Toddler Praise group is full to overflowing while joint working with Haworth means that the Section 11 & 12 process is speeding along.
The trip to the States was excellent and informative. Some things were very similar while other things were quite different; which gave me the opportunity to reflect on how we do things. The thing that struck me most was our different roles. Yes, we are Anglicans / Episcopalians but the function of the church is different.
St John, Bedford, is a gathered church. That is people attend because they are Episcopalian. Their priest is only concerned with the church members and not the area; so, he or she is a chaplain to the church. It also means that St John is their church!
St James’ is a parish church with responsibility for a geographical area. That means we exist for all those who live in that area and St James’ is their church.
I found this provokes a number of questions “How are we meeting the needs of those living in our parish?”; “How are we bringing / showing the good news of Jesus to our neighbours?”; and “What sort of church should we aim to be?”