This is a difficult letter for me to write as it is the last letter I will write to you as the Team Rector of Lowton and Golborne Team Ministry. I will be leaving at the end of January and moving to St. Helens to pursue other venture in a new phase of mine, and my partner Neil’s, life.
It is nearly seven years since I was inducted at Golborne St Thomas’ and lots of things have happened in the Team since then. In 2017 we said goodbye to Rev’d John Reed and in 2018 we said hello to Rev’d Trevor Hodson. We have achieved many things together, yet there are still many things left to do. We have had Covid 19 to deal with and we are still dealing with it nearly two years on. We’ve had lots of knocks, but also lots to celebrate.
One of the major achievements I think is the way that the Team is now working together. However, one of the failures, I think, is that the Team does not function together very well. I know this sounds like two opposites but I feel it is true. We have made many inroads into working together, but there is still much resistance from some people who don’t want to work with the other parishes in the Team. We have lots of people who are Team minded, but we have some people who do not want to acknowledge the Team Ministry and are only interested in their own church. This is fine, but creates difficulty for those trying to lead the Team into the future. I would therefore like to lovingly encourage people who are unsure about the Team to think more collaboratively in the future. The future of the Church of England depends upon people and parishes working more closely together, and this will happen as time goes on. Working together collaboratively as a team truly shows that we can all be inclusive in acknowledging each other’s differences and the fact that no one is superior to anyone else. We are all equal, just as all three churches in the team are equal; none is greater that another and we are stronger together.
As the Team goes into interregnum, things must remain the same until a new incumbent is appointed. There will be a new Team Rector appointed for Lowton and Golborne, it will be up to them to work with the ministry team on how this Team Ministry will move forward in the future.
We have lost several people from our congregations whose funerals I have had the privilege of conducting during my time as Team Rector. I honour them and continue to hold them in my prayers. I have also had the privilege of conducting hundreds of funerals, baptisms and weddings. These life events are integral to the life of the church and the community we serve and are rightly part of our ministry. The major part of our ministry though is our daily worship and our daily presence in our community in the name of Jesus. The presence of the Lord and the Good News of the Gospel needs to be proclaimed now more than ever, and I know that mission will continue after my departure from the Team.
I would like to thank our Churchwardens, our Readers, Rev’d Trevor and all who are involved in the smooth running of the Team. There are so many people volunteering to do so many things that I am sometimes overwhelmed by the commitment shown. Please carry on in your calling and ministry, your work is appreciated and of the upmost value to the purposes of our Team Ministry.
Personally, I would also like to thank those who have supported me in my ministry over the last seven years. Your love, prayers, encouragement and support has been appreciated by me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
As most of you know, Chris Williams is stepping down as a Reader after years of active service. Her dedication to her Lord, the Church and this community is second to none and I salute her for it. I know that Chris’ retirement will leave a huge hole in our ministry and she will be missed by many, many people in all three of our churches. I would like to pay tribute to Chris and all she has achieved over the years.
So, after my ministry amongst you for the past seven years, I hope I can leave the Team in a healthy and vibrant state. I thank God for the opportunities we have had to serve Him and His people and I also thank God for the lifelong friends we have made over the years.
Take care, God bless and I hope you have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Your friend and Team Rector.