The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

Parish Magazine

Print This Page

January 2019

The Vicar writes

Jeremy Fletcher

It is a great joy to wish you all a Happy New Year, and God’s richest blessing for you in 2019. There are some new beginnings in parish life which can be celebrated too. I’m writing this on January 2nd, and this morning Maureen Smith began her work as our Children and Youth Worker. This area of our life is a key priority in our Vision and Strategy, and I am more than pleased that Maureen is with us. I think she is too!

The other new thing which happened today was the arrival of the electrical contractor Tom Flynn at 7.30 am to begin the renewal of the church lighting scheme. Our light fittings are rather wonderful, but the overall lighting scheme was beginning to show its age, and new technology allows great versatility and flexibility, while reducing carbon emissions at the same time. Our much-loved fittings will be refurbished and put back, and further lighting will enable the building to be seen in a new light too. The plan is that the work will last three months, so all will be in place well in time for Easter (which is late this year… April 21).

I’m looking forward to other things this year, some of them new, some being renewed. I’m pleased that we are to have a monthly simple soup lunch on the second Wednesday, fulfilling our vision to be hospitable, inclusive and welcoming using food. Our work with children and young people in helping them to grow in faith includes admitting children to Communion, and preparation for that will be in February ready for a service in March, on Mothering Sunday.

We have five weddings and a blessing booked in for 2019, which is a great increase on the one we had last year (memorable though it was!). Last year saw us have twenty baptisms, and we have a good number already booked or in the enquiry stage. Much of this ministry is very new for Ayla, and her curacy will progress as, God willing, she is ordained priest on Saturday June 22, presiding at Communion for the first time the next day, Sunday 23rd, at the 10.30 service.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, and we look forward to studying together in groups, this year probably using the “Pilgrim” material on the Creeds, looking at the foundations of the Christian faith. We hope to continue to offer the “Pilgrim” material, which covers much of the essentials of Christian discipleship: watch this space.  Our reflection on Scripture was enhanced last year by the beginning of the Bible Book Club, and this will continue in 2019: a monthly chance to read one book of the Bible and discuss it together in a book club setting. That does mean that it will take us five years to cover the whole of the Bible, but it’s worth it!

There will be so much more in 2019. I have learnt too to look out for the unexpected, and will aim to look and listen for what God has for us. Thank you for your sharing in ministry and mission in 2018. May 2019 be a blessing for us all.

Print This Page

Magazines from previous years | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005