Dear Church Family
It was great to spend some time this week with Bishop Jonathan, the new Dean of York Minster. We met for breakfast a few weeks ago and so were pleased to spend some further time together. In particular he came over to St Michael le Belfrey Church and we knelt side by side, praying inside the church. Not only did we pray for each other but also for our church communities and for our city and region. For a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
As Pentecost approaches, may I encourage us all to be praying for this? Each one of us needs the Spirit of God to be filling us to overflowing. And our churches need this, so that we encounter him as we gather and are then equipped to be people of transformation in our lives. If you don't know what or how to pray, then start with that ancient prayer of the church - 'Come Holy Spirit', and see what happens!
God's Spirit is, at this time, calling the church in our nation, and in our city, to plant more churches. That's why it's an honour to be partnering with the Diocese of Newcastle in their new resource church, which Ben and Ellie Doolan are leading. Ben will be with us this Sunday, speaking across the day, as we pray for the team heading further north. At The6 on Sunday Mark Tanner, the Bishop of Berwick will join us, and he will lead prayers of commissioning for the team we're sending. It should be a special day.
My hope for Sunday is that not only will we bless the team heading to Newcastle, but also that the Spirit of God would be stirring our hearts at The Belfrey with a greater love for the North, envisioning us with a passion for further mission and church planting in our region. The Lord has given us great people. He's at work bringing people to faith and changing lives. He's placed us in a significant location. And he's called us to re-order our church building - not just so we have a more comfortable venue, but that we might be better equipped to impact our region. So as we pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, why not ask the Lord to envision you, and others at The Belfrey, with fresh vision for our church - a church serving God's transformation of the North?
Come, Holy Spirit.