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A new dawn, a new era (October 2018)

Dear Friends,

                                A NEW DAWN….

                                A NEW ERA…….

A new chapter in the life of our church. It doesn’t seem possible that at the beginning of August we said goodbye to Tracey and wished her well in her new calling in Trowbridge, with a wonderful celebratory lunch. It was of course tinged with sadness. Losing a friend, a leader who worked tirelessly for us and the church is always difficult especially as she had been with us for fifteen years. It is not until someone is no longer in our fellowship that you realise how much they did in the life of our church, as well as the greater community both here in Bristol and beyond.

While we will lament losing Tracey to another district for some time to come, we have to look forward and see what journey unfolds for us. We have strength in numbers and if we work together we will grow and blossom into a stronger fellowship. We all have skills and talents that will come in useful over the next few months. It may be that you will be asked to help, which would be great if you could. However, if at that time you feel you couldn’t that is alright as well. It is alright to decline. No one is going to pressurise you into doing anything that you feel you couldn’t do or feel uncomfortable doing.

It is also a new era in my church life, becoming church secretary. I never thought at the beginning of 2018, I would be fulfilling this role. Even when Marian announced she would like to step down from the role it wasn’t on my horizon. Life as it is said works in mysterious ways and here am I leading the way during an interregnum. It is not just me of course; we have a great eldership and fellowship.

Everyone has a significant role to play. We all need to support one another. Church Secretary I feel is somewhat of a coordinating role, not that I won’t be hands on as well. I will always give support and help where ever I can. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Marian for all the hard work and support she has given to the church as church secretary. I would also like to thank her for the help and support she has given me since I have taken over this role.    

Many of you know me, but for those who don’t, I thought I would tell you a bit about myself.  I was brought up in Sevenoaks, Kent.   My father, a photographer, must have felt outnumbered as I was the youngest of three daughters. That did not stop him getting us interested in all types of sports.

At eighteen I left home to train as a nurse and then a midwife. Whilst working in London, I met my husband John and we moved to Bristol just under thirty years ago. We have two adult sons, Robbie and Kieran both of whom have attended Trinity-Henleaze. My connection with the URC started with brownies and has progressed onwards. I have always tried to be as active as possible in the church and at one time coordinated the junior church. I would often arrive at church somewhat bleary eyed having worked the night before! I have served as an elder on several occasions, both at Trinity- Henleaze and Trinity Church.

I suspect that you are all wondering what happens next. The first thing I have noticed that the wheels of the URC move very slowly. The process of finding a new minister will take a long time and the great likelihood is that we will share that minister with another church. Not that that will do us any harm.  There are things that we can do in the process. We have an interesting array of ministers and speakers over the next few months, all of which will enhance our spiritual path.  At present we are waiting for the synod to allocate us an interim moderator. We may know who that will be by the end of October. In the meantime a group of us will look at the church profile and update it as necessary. We will then be ready to declare a vacancy, hopefully soon in the New Year. I will keep you updated, either through the newsletter or by announcements in church. In the meantime we can pray that this uncertain time for us will progress smoothly.

As we look forward, we hope to arrange one or two events, so we don’t forget the” holy habits,” that Tracey started with us. We are looking to returning to the cinema, followed by lunch, as well as a craft and a chat on a Friday morning. In October we have the eldership elections. In November we will remember the century of the armistice ending the First World War. Christmas services are being discussed and in advent we look forward to welcoming new members.

As I close this letter to you, let us stand together in fellowship and faith.

Yours in thanksgiving and hope,