September is one of my favourite months of the year. I love the change in the seasons, the feeling of a fresh start that never quite leaves us from our school days, the special services we look forward to throughout autumn – all these and so much more!
In the parishes, there are new beginnings too. We warmly welcome Gill Clarke, our new Parish Administrator. Gill will be working from the Parish Office at St John’s Bilton, providing a first line port of call for all general enquiries and giving much needed support for me with the ever increasing administrative tasks. Gill has been working as Parish Administrator for St John’s & St Luke’s for a couple of months, before which she had a successful career in retail management. We are very grateful indeed to Rev Simon Dowson, Rector of Bilton, for his willingness to help us to enable this post by so generously offering use of their Parish Office. Gill’s working hours are 1-3pm on Mondays and 2.30-5.30pm on Wednesdays.
We have some great events happening this month, to which you are all invited. We are holding a Pet Blessing Service at Killinghall Church on 16th September at 9.30am and we have a wonderful opportunity to ‘sing Gospel’ at Birstwith Church on 22nd September. At Hampsthwaite Church we will be having a special service of dedication for a recommissioned stained glass window in the chancel on 30th September at 11am. There are also some new initiatives in October – see under Upcoming Events for news of those too.
Out of our Benefice Vision has come a wonderful group of twelve people from congregations across the churches, all of whom are training in different ways as Lay Leaders. We have a lay led Bible Study Group beginning in October, one of our Lay Leaders led an All Age Worship service in August (well done Chris!), a small sub group have formed, taking a fresh look at our support of the Harrogate Homeless Project, and others will be taking more of a leading role in other areas of mission and worship too. We support them wholeheartedly and wish them well in their new ministries.
There is a palpable sense in which we are taking more of an active part in growing God’s Kingdom in this place, which has very much come out of our Vision – there is something for everyone to join in with, as God calls us all into his service.
With every blessing,
The Reverend Chrissy Wilson
….let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.