Dear Friends,

A   In two weeks (Monday March 26 at 8pm) we have our Annual General Meeting. It’s a night to hear brief reports and to vote in some key people for roles in the church.
Every year there is a sense of thanksgiving and joy as we look back over the year of the Lord’s faithfulness. We cover a lot in 90 minutes!

This is an evening that explains many things:

For the past year have had:

A few are stepping down after serving us very faithfully:

So we have no pressing need but you are invited to stand for any position (warden, parish councillor or nominator) if you wish and there are nomination forms at the back of the church. You only need to get someone who has been a ‘communicant member’ for more than three months to nominate you if you wish to stand.

B   Like discovering treasure I recently found a box of two hundred cassettes (!) that I’d not listened to for 20–30 years. These are talks from the 70’s and 80’s by John Chapman, John Stott, Dick Lucas and a host of fine preachers. I’m listening to them as I drive (with a device that connects a cassette player to the lighter!) and it’s been a feast. I’m hoping to put some onto our website – they have a spiritual temperature that will do you good.     
One of the talks on Rev 3:1-6 is to the church in Sardis that receives this word: “you have a reputation of being alive but you are dead”.

Is it possible for a church to be outwardly impressive, busy and with a calendar of events – yet be dead? It obviously is, since so much of what we do can be organised and maintained artificially. I wonder if the Lord was to tear off the ‘leaves’ of St Thomas’ and go looking for the ‘fruit’ of people who believe, pray, repent, sacrifice and follow – how much would He find?

C   Two weeks ago we welcomed Michael and Caroline Clark to our Sunday services – and rejoiced that they can come to work with us.

I have asked Mike to concentrate on four things:

Please pray that his coming will be an instrument for growth and change in all of us –  we’re not asking him to make us happy but holy. And out of holiness – comes much happiness.

Yours in fellowship,

Simon Manchester

P.S. We are in the day of checking pulse and blood pressure (fitbits, etc). Can I ask you to check your monthly links with your local church? If you are slipping into monthly fellowship be wary – if fortnightly be wiser and if weekly be well. Sadly many think they are regular now if getting monthly fellowship and they are not as healthy as they think they are.