Dear friends,

Hopefully you will have all now seen that we have reopened all three churches much more following lifting of Covid restrictions, but using a new pattern of worship.

The new pattern will run till the end of January and Sarah, Pam and I would really appreciate your views as to what you like in the new pattern of services, what you do not like, and also is there anything else that you were hoping for.

Please also be aware that this experimental period is very important. Over the last 5 years (yes, I am now in my 6th year with you all – how time flies – my licensing took place at Shiplake Church on the evening of 15th September 2016) I have listened to what people have been saying about services and this is the ideal time to find out if what people have said they wish to have does actually make people come back to church. So, if during the next few months the new services are not supported by people attending they will be dropped, and not reintroduced – I know, this sounds really harsh, but we do have 5 months for the message to get out about the new services, and 5 months for us all to prove that they do work, and that they are indeed bringing more people in.

Several of the services are intended to be Lay led i.e., not led by a Priest. We are therefore putting on some training (please see the weekly news sheet for details) for anybody that is interested in exploring this ministry. Everything will be provided for those who eventually lead these services, there is no expectation that you will have to write a sermon!!

Finally, one of my Manchester friends gleefully told me that today (16th September) means that it is only 100 days till Christmas – needless to say I reached immediately for chocolate as I not even dealt with the Harvest Festivals yet!

With all God’s Blessings