RECTOR'S LETTER

Hello everyone,

April is a great month isn’t it? In our Easter Day services we make this acclamation:

“Alleluia. Christ is risen.”
“He is risen indeed. Alleluia.”

We say it with joy, loudly, unapologetically – knowing that the cornerstone of our Christian faith lies not in the birth of Jesus (we are all born after all), but in his resurrection from humiliation and death on the cross. Jesus didn’t rise from the grave to baffle his opponents, to make a victory statement, or to prove that he was right after all. Jesus rose as a sign to those who love him and follow him that God’s divine love is stronger than death. That our sins are forgiven when we turn to God and ask for his forgiveness, To the women and men who had committed themselves to him and shared in his ministry, he revealed that his task had been fulfilled. Every year we remember this, and every year we are surprised by the efforts that God puts into reaching out to us. So let’s say it again:

“Alleluia. Christ is risen.”
“He is risen indeed. Alleluia.”

As a Mission Community we are entering a time of change as we prepare for Reverend Gina Radford joining the team. Gina will be a half time team vicar and will be primarily based in South Brent and Rattery, although in time we will all get to see her in our other churches.

Here in St Luke’s we have two upcoming events that I would really appreciate your thoughts, prayers and support for.

The first is on the 28th of April following the morning service. As you all know, the church building here is facing profound difficulties and as a church community we need to consider what our response to this is going to be. Do we seek funding for repair, re-engineering and remodelling? What would this look like? What do we want a church building to be? Is it within our capacity to carry out such a huge project? Do we have the necessary human and financial resources? And if not, then what are our options? Therefore, everyone is invited to a soup lunch after the morning service on the 28th where there will be a presentation of where we are and some possibilities outlined. This is only the first of a series of consultations where your voice needs to be heard to help towards making the right choice for our worshipping community and Buckfastleigh at large. In the weeks beforehand we will be distributing a summary of the reports to date to help your preparation for this. I would say at this point that there is no need to panic that the church is going to disappear overnight – it isn’t. However, it is important that, together, we work through our challenges, as we owe it not just to ourselves but to future generations of Christians to make good informed decisions that will stand the test of time.

The second event is the adaptation of the first Sunday of the month morning service to a service that is more accessible to families. We have been blessed by a number of families now asking for a service that has elements of ‘Sunday School’ to which they can bring children. We will be keeping this as a communion service but with adaptations made. I am hopeful that the children will be able to help in the service as they grow in confidence. I would appeal to all of us to make these families welcome, and to bear with us if we find wrinkles in the format that need to be ironed out. This will start on the first Sunday in May.

God bless and have a joyful Easter.

Tom

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