Published by Tim Cockell on Thu, 31 Jan 2019 00:00

“See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.”  Isaiah 42.9

Let’s be honest, if you are the sort of person who makes New Year resolutions, I am betting that you have probably given up on them by now.  We might make them with the best of intentions but the reality is often that we don’t have the will-power to maintain doing that new thing we have promised ourselves.  That’s human nature – we don’t have the staying power sometimes.  

But this is not so when it comes to God.  When he promises he is going to do a new thing, it happens.  Throughout the Bible, God promises that he is going to do something new for his people, or create something new so that his glory can be seen.  That process of doing new things continues to this day through his church.  God is always leading us on and calls us to explore new things, new ways of being church, new ideas in worship and mission so that we can reach others who have not heard the message of the Gospel and of Christ’s saving love for them. 

For some time now, both the Ministry Leadership Team and the Parochial Church Council have been wanting to do a new thing in the parish. We have been planning to take on another staff member, an Associate Minister who will have a specific area of work and responsibility.  The need that this new person will meet will be engaging in outreach and mission to some of the newer areas of housing in the parish as well as developing our work with families and children – an area of our work we have neglected a little of late. This is a very exciting prospect and could bring along with it many “new things” that God wants to do among us. Above all, though, we hope and pray that this new work will bring more people to faith and to worship with us. So, in simple terms we are investing in our future and in the growth of the church so that it remains a vibrant community doing God's work in this parish of Bilton.  

We are very fortunate that this half-time post is being funded partly by a grant from the Bishop’s Mission Fund and from a generous legacy that was left the parish a couple of years ago that the PCC decided would be used for developing people and their faith.  The Diocese is also committed to purchasing another house in the parish for this new priest.  

As this new project continues the PCC will have to make up the gradually reducing support from the Mission Fund from its own revenue (day to day income and expenses) rather than from reserved funds and grants. This means that we will be spending time encouraging everyone to get behind these new initiatives and the need to raise the money to cover the additional costs incurred.  In this first year we hope to raise another £15,000 in income to get us well on the way to the extra £35,000 per year we will need to raise each year by the end of 2024.  

Wow, sounds like a massive task doesn’t it?  Well, yes, but at the same time, no, because we are doing it in stages over a number of years.  I am very confident that we can do this.  To help us to meet the challenge of doing this new thing, there will be sermons with teaching about giving and how that relates to our priorities and vision at St. Mark’s; talks about what our giving pays for and an overview of church finances; information on existing and new ways of giving as well as updates on how we are doing.  

So, this is a very exciting time.  This new post has been advertised recently and the closing date for applications is 22nd February, so do please be praying that God brings us the right person for the role.  I hope as the months progress we will see the new things that God has planned for us coming to fruition, both in his church as well as in our own lives.  

With every blessing


Categories Word from the Clergy