Monthly letter from our minister
Each month our minister Simon, or his assistant Hannah, writes the introductory letter to our Church News magazine. The latest letter is reproduced here.
Previous letters can be viewed by following the links below.
Just because it’s the right thing doesn’t mean it’s easy!
As you are all aware by now, in March I accepted the call to become the minister of Hooe Baptist Church in Plymouth. It’s on the outskirts of Plymouth, towards the breakwaters and the beach. The Church has a regular congregation of around 50, a range of ages, and seeks to be a blessing to the community of about 4,500 residents.
On paper it was a good fit, and as we got to know the people, we had a growing sense that this is where God wanted us to be. It is exciting, as we enter a new phase of ministry; a new chapter; the next great adventure!
Yet, I and the family have loved living and serving the community of Brampford Speke, and being part of the church family at Brampford and South Street. We consider you to be our friends, and it’s been a privilege to share the last seven years with you, sharing the joys and sadness of life.
We are truly grateful for the way you have cared for and nurtured us as a family, supporting and encouraging us every step of the way - as the children started school, Iain changed jobs – (twice), and as I learnt and developed as a minister in my first pastorate.
You have been generous with your praise and gratitude, lavish with your understanding and encouragement, as I’ve tried new ways to share the love of God with those in the city of Exeter and the village of Brampford Speke.
My particular thanks go to Simon, and all those who have served on the Diaconate over the last seven years, who giving me their wisdom, counsel,support, and love.
And so it is with a real sadness that we leave this place, and the friends we have made. I echo Grace’s words to some extent - of my annoyance that God is calling us on now!
Yet as we’ve explored, and as we are exploring through the Sermon on the Mount series, God doesn’t call us to a nice comfortable life - but to a life transformed. Jesus calls us to live out a radical life, one that puts him and his way at the centre of all we do.
Over the last seven years, I have seen God call and lead the Church and Chapel in directions that were new, and on certain occasions directions that felt risky. Yet with a determination to follow God, the Church and Chapel have taken on the challenges they faced, and have been blessed in their obedience to him.
Which is why, I leave this place knowing that the future is bright; and I know that you will faithfully follow where God leads you on your next great adventure. It might be somewhere you have never been before, or at this moment can even imagine. But as I know you will be faithful in following, I’m even more certain that our faithful God does have a future for you.
His love for the city of Exeter, and the village of Brampford Speke, and for you, is far more than mine; he knows what each community needs, and will provide for you, for he is a generous God who loves to bless! And so I conclude with this prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your people; for the communities at South Street and Brampford Speke, who have cared for and loved us; who have shown us what it means to faithfully follow you, wherever you may call.
And so we pray, Lord Jesus, that you will bless them abundantly; provide the vision for where you are leading them; provide the resources for their next great adventure. Above all, provide your presence and peace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that will sustain them in the days ahead, as they seek to bless those in their communities, and bring your light and love to bear. For your kingdom we pray. Amen”.
Much love, and Christ’s blessing,
Hannah, Iain, Grace and Sam xXx
May 2018 Simon
April 2018 Simon
March 2018 Hannah
February 2018 Simon