October 2022 magazine
Please find a link here to our October 2022 magazine. Paper copies will be available in our two churches from this Sunday.
Inside you’ll find news about Dave and Linda’s last Sunday with us and Dave’s induction at Christ Church, Heaton. There’s an article on generous giving and updates from our various groups along with upcoming events, reflections and prayers.
Our October 2022 magazine also includes this letter from our soon to be ALM Emeritus, Nigel…
I am sitting here looking out into our garden and in particular at what was a very large Ceanothus bush. Over many years it has grown into a beautiful part of the garden. Covered in blue flowers in the summer when it would be buzzing with insects and a haven for small birds all year round as they queued up waiting for a turn on the bird feeders. It was a splendid plant! I say ‘what was’ because, with reluctance, we have recently come to the conclusion that we can no longer manage it. It has grown too big and we are finding it increasingly difficult to reach up to trim it and it has actually taken over a huge part of the garden – preventing other plants from growing. So armed with saw and secateurs we methodically set to work and it is now much reduced in size!
This pruning operation very much mirrors my own recent decision to trim back on my church activities. Most of you will know that I am not renewing my authority to be an ALM – which was due for renewal this September. Health issues together with, dare I say it, reaching a certain age (!) led me to seriously consider my ability to continue with everything I was involved with at church. Like the ceanothus my activities have grown beyond what I now find manageable. Trimming back was required.
I will now become an ALM Emeritus and over the coming months I intend to ease back from some of the rotas and duties which I have been part of for a good while. I am looking to take up some of that promised retirement time and to have more time for family. But I am not seeking to completely step off the rota treadmill! You will just not see me quite so prominently in future!
Jesus had much to say about taking rest; being weary; and seeking some quietness. He withdrew from his work and encouraged his disciples to do the same so that they could rest. As David Robinson reminded us in last month’s magazine – God rested after all his creative labouring. My belief is that God knows when it is time for us to step off the treadmill and just take stock. And as we get older we need to do that all the more. We all need to care for our physical as well as our spiritual needs. Rest and attention to the health of our souls is important. Making decisions in these things I would definitely recommend conversation with family and with God. In the words from Proverbs 3 – “Trust in the Lord and do not rely on your own insight; it will be healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.”
Please take note that I am not advocating that we all down tools! But I do think we all need to regularly take a pause; look at what we’re doing – or not doing! – reassess and move forward.
Our intention for our ceanothus bush is that it will continue to give us the beauty and joy it has done in the past and continue to be there and to grow but in more manageable proportions. The same is the plan for me and church life!
God bless you all and thank you for your support. Nigel
Many thanks to Bruno /Germany for the cover image from Pixabay