Dear Church Family
It's been an exciting January, as we've spent time together on Sundays and on Thursdays evenings focussing on, and praying for Encounter with God. We're already hearing some lovely stories of men and women encountering the Lord. A number have put their faith in Christ for the first time, some have received physical healing, others emotional healing, some have received fresh forgiveness and others been filled with the Holy Spirit. In these coming months, let's continue to be praying and expecting fresh encounters with the Lord. If you have a story of encounter, please do let me know.
Last Sunday I shared a special message across the congregations on Encounter and Expansion, setting out the vision for the church for the coming year. If you missed last Sunday's messages, do catch up and listen online. 2017 Vision leaflets were also distributed. These will also be available in church this Sunday. In the light of this vision, this week we've been inviting all those who belong to The Belfrey to prayerfully consider their financial giving to the church for 2017 and then to return a Financial Pledge Form this Sunday. The helps both those giving and the church to plan well. We're so grateful to everyone who gives and we trust the Lord will continue to provide for us in the coming year. So please do come this Sunday with your completed Pledge Form.
This Sunday James Fletcher, our Head of Prayer, will be sharing with us about the importance of prayer, and the role that St Cuthbert's House of Prayer has to play in our church, city and region. I know that James has a good message that will stir us to pray.
Last weekend David Smith died and went to be with the Lord. David and Jean moved to us from Gillingham and served faithfully in St Michael le Belfrey under David Watson and then our subsequent Vicars, being a Reader with us for 37 years. More recently he's lived closer to the wider family but he is still remembered with much thanksgiving by so many in the church. Please do pray for Jean and the family, and particularly for the Simpsons (who are part of our church family) - for Fiona (David's daughter) and Pete, and their sons Josh and Sam in their sadness. David's funeral will take place on Wednesday 22nd February at 10.30am in St Michael le Belfrey Church.
Finally, this Sunday evening marks the end of our 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. We will never know all the effects of this, but we know God loves to honour such discipline as we hunger for him. We will mark the close of this period of fasting this Sunday evening with pizza at the end of The6, so please bring £3 to cover the cost - and let's enjoy breaking the fast as we celebrate the kindness and goodness of the Lord.