Rector’s Letter – Changes to Service Pattern – November 2019

 

Photo of Rev Andy Wadsworth
Rev Andy Wadsworth

Dear friends in the church family,

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” (Phil. 2v1-5)

As some of you will know, we have decided that we now have to change the pattern of Sunday services here at All Saints and to combine the 9.30am and 11.15am services into one service at 10.30am, except on the 2nd Sunday of the month when we will have a Family Service in the TCCC at 10.30am AND a traditional Common Worship (CW) service at 10.30am in the church (normally with communion).

The catalyst for this change has been the decision of a number of our retired clergy and ministers to step back from doing as much for us here in order to help at other churches in the area who are now in vacancy.  I am now the only ordained member of the team, and it is simply no longer possible for me and our two Readers and others to lead 4 or 5 services every Sunday in the benefice. The changes in the team are set out below.

I had very much hoped to keep the existing pattern of services and to build growth from these services assuming that either a curate or Associate Minister could start in summer 2020. This is not going to happen as the Diocese has not allocated a curate or Associate Minister to us and seems unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future, despite us contributing £130,000pa in Parish Share.

 

Team as of 2-3 years ago                               Now

Ordained Clergy:

Adrian (Rector)                                                       Me (Rector)

Mark (Curate)                                                         Tim Butlin (retired)

Peter B (retired)

Jenny J (retired)

Dennis C (retired)

 

Readers:

David S                                                            David S

Sandra J                                                           Sandra J

Fran Y (and Youth Worker/Ordaind)

Sam U

 

We will maintain the pattern of the other services as follows:

  • 8am BCP (MP or HC) at All Saints Trull
  • 930am Bi-weekly CW at Angersleigh with monthly HC
  • 530pm Evening Service with monthly HC
  • 11am Bi-weekly Wednesday BCP HC at Gatchells

Yes, there will be issues and questions but it is simply not feasible to resource all our services with leaders and preachers, and indeed musicians, who are also struggling to resource both services. It is on the basis of the above that I have planned the services from 12th January 2019 – and we will review the changed pattern in the summer.

The Opportunity

There are however, opportunities to aim for. This change was seen to be the most appropriate and workable option of a number that we considered. It will also enable us to re-grow our team of preachers and service leaders, and indeed musicians.

Looking further ahead, we also need to plan to be ready and equipped to launch new ministries into the new Housing Area planned for Dipford Road/Comeytrowe Lane. Work is already starting on the Wellington Road end of the site.

I know that many of you enjoyed the United Service at Queen’s recently and I hope and pray that the change will enable us to enjoy being church family together – giving of ourselves for the sake of others – and in giving so we receive. By meeting together in this way, it diminishes the pull of our ‘consumerist’ culture and the temptation to think, ‘What’s in it for me’.

Furthermore, there are significant opportunities for stronger links with Angersleigh which will continue to have traditional CW service with hymns on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of month.

I know there will be questions for us to work through in the coming weeks about how we resource the service musically, and about the structure and style of the service, and how often we have communion. Please do make suggestions as to how we can best make the changes work and if you would like to come and talk with me please do so. In particular, do come and chat this Wednesday from 9am to 11am in my office or the Upper Meeting Room.

For your information, the PCC passed this resolution at our recent meeting:

‘The PCC recognises that there are now fewer people available to preach and to lead services than in recent years, including only one ordained minister.  The PCC approves the following service-pattern from 12th January 2020, until August 31st 2020 on an interim basis with 3 services each Sunday in Trull (rather than 4) and with greater flexibility over which Sunday in the month has Communion at each service-time. The PCC recognises the need to engage with all congregations to explain why the changes are necessary”

With love in Christ and in gospel partnership,

Andy Wadsworth

24th November 2019

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