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Benefice initiatives – Vicar’s Bit Revd John Longuet-Higgins
Sometimes Lent is not all that it is cracked up to be. Slow. Reflective. Negative maybe. This year Lent is exciting and very positive. My focus is on preparation and fruitfulness. As a gardener will tell you the two go together. Time given to preparing the soil leads to fruitfulness. All the four initiatives mentioned below have be prepared in prayer and practical preparations.
Lent Group (change of venue)
Please join the Lent group to continue your preparation. The course of “Fruitfulness” 1.30-3pm moves to Jill Bates’ home for the Lent Group on Monday March 5th and Monday March 12th. Her address: “The Chestnuts”, Oridge Street, Corse GL19 3DA (840015).
The new Alpha course is built around a film series. Filmed around the world it features world-famous Christian leaders and inspiring stories. Two young hosts Toby Flint and Gemma Hunt join Nicky Gumbel to unpack the basics of the Christian faith in an updated and engaging way.
Sally and David Banwell are hosting the Alpha course at their lovely old Hasfield farm house. Food is part of the deal. For more information please contact Sally on 01452 780206. It is likely we will run an Alpha for a larger group in the summer.
2/ World Cup – faith in Schools
After returning from Rwanda last summer, in partnership with PSALMS (“putting sport alongside ministries”) I have put together a Deanery initiative for the World Cup. 10 schools, over 500 children, and over 20 parishes are taking part. Your help is needed! (Contact me is you can help). What an amazing series of events.
On Wednesday 13th June “Pulse Games” come to Hartpury School juniors (joined by Ashleworth and Staunton & Corse juniors). There is a training day on Saturday 24th March 1-5pm Corse and Staunton Village Hall with Terry Williams. Terry was the Scripture Union children’s worker I met in Rwanda. He is phenomenally talented teacher of children’s church work. We shall want to build our school’s team on this day.
During the World Cup (second half of June and the first half of July) we shall be running an after school club once a week using material written by PSALMS. Also there is a collective act of worship we shall use.
At the end of August, Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st we are running a Deanery wide sport-based holiday club at Newent Secondary School and then on Saturday September 1st a Family Fun Day there as well.
3/ The Gloucester Way pilgrimage
During Holy Week for 8 days, from Palm Sunday 25th March through to Bank holiday Monday 2nd April there will be three paintings hung in each of our churches. “Stations of the cross as from the eyes of Jesus” painted by Jonathon Brown imaginatively and powerfully allow us to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ. In each church there will be material for visitors, adults and children, to reflect-back with Jesus into their own lives. This is a once in a decade pilgrimage. During Holy Week there will be a service in each of our churches, starting with a presentation by Jonathan Brown at Hartpury Church 6pm on Palm Sunday 25th March. A special start to our Holy Week pilgrimage.
4/ Messy Church and the Family Development minister
Over an extensive period, a group of young parents and those experienced in children’s ministry have been thinking and praying about a new focus on family ministry; a benefice family outreach team alongside a family development minister. We want to build on our existing strengths in schools – especially our ‘Open the Book’ teams.
So, in May we are proposing starting a Messy Church based in school during the week. If you want to be part of this initiative, there is a group of people going to Messy Church training:
Saturday 3 March, 10am - 4pm, St John's Church, Churchdown - Cost £10 including lunch. Do contact Natasha Kent email@example.com “Growing Messy Leaders” is an inspirational, all-age training day which will energise and empower your Messy Church teams. We want to bring a team to this hands-on, fun, fast-moving day which combines the leadership skills of CPAS and experience of the British Reading Fellowship’s Messy Church team to give leaders of all ages the opportunity to understand more of the practicalities of leading a Messy Church, developing a team and reflecting on their relationship with God.