Report to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting of Bramhall Parish Church
RESTORATION, renovation and resurrection works have continued in and around our Church buildings in the past year and the works for repointing the Lantern Tower are beginning at the time of our APCM 2012. I am enormously grateful to churchwardens of the recent past, and to those of the present who, together with the PCC and its finance and buildings committee, continue to facilitate works that both maintain and enhance our “house for the Church”. We’ve been very fortunate to have been served by Architects John Prichard, Chloe Maher and Rebecca Gilbert-Rule.
I am also grateful for the ministries of my priest colleagues, Fr David Stoter and the Reverend Ann Hyde. We wish Ann Godspeed as she embarks upon new work at St Martin Low Marple from next month. Sterling service has been given and great works accomplished by Churchwardens Ralph Luxon and Sue Taylor, Ann Walker as PCC Secretary & Graham Knight as Treasurer, our Parochial Church Council, Readers, pastoral team, sidespersons, administrator, sexton, musicians, vergers, florists, gardeners – and by the faithful lives and deeds, in so many areas of church life, of very many members of the church family.
New ministries particularly
Once again I warmly thank and pray God’s continued blessing upon each and all who have responded to Christ’s call to love and service in this place in the past year. (Electoral Roll Officer Frank Bennett reports 470 committed Christians on our Roll at this 2012 Annual Meeting – and 450 persons not on the Roll were present at a St George’s Day service this afternoon, following in the footsteps of 200+ worshippers present this morning. Around 200 names appear on the various lists and rotas for our various ministries of service).
It has been an especial joy to encourage the seeking and discernment processes in the lives of ordinands Paul Deakin (Mirfield College of The Resurrection), Tracy Ward (Diocesan Foundations for Ministry Course and newly appointed Chair of our Pastoral Committee) and Rachael Elizabeth Hunt (hoping to read Theology from September 2012). Their early preaching has been widely appreciated and acclaimed. We’re also delighted to be sponsoring the priestly formation of Franco Asili in the Diocese of Newala, Tanzania.
Newala, Children, Youth & the Arts
Our parish’s link with the Diocese of Newala continues to develop. Part of the development and ministry of our children and youth work, guided and encouraged by leaders Jill Elston, Yvonne Hope and their team, has involved real engagement with the issues facing life in Tanzania, alongside the development of a very popular and delightful puppet ministry. Association with the Chester Diocesan Arts and Faith network and most recently with artists Wendy Rudd and Stephen Raw have brought blessing, benefit and enormously important vision.
Deeper nearness to God
I continue to thank God for the Resurrection faith, hope and love that are source and sign of warm welcome to those newly born amongst us, whilst also bringing comfort to us all in times of personal illness or other need, and when we have commended the loved ones who have entered into the deeper fullness of Divine presence. May each of us in this world aspire to a deeper nearness to God – our hope and our inspiration, our joy and our crown.
The wind of God’s Spirit
So: works of restoration, renovation and resurrection have also continued in and around our personal and corporate spiritual lives. The wind of God’s Spirit blows amongst and between us and so we grow and change and live to say: “To God be the glory.”