Dear Church Family
It's great to be part of a church made up of all sorts of people - people of differing ages and backgrounds. Women and men. Young and old. Married and single. All are important and each one valued. Each of us is called to play our part in our church as we serve the Lord with our lives. As we sometimes sing: 'In my Father's house there's a place for me.' That's because the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ welcomes us. As we enter this new season in our church's life, the Spirit wants to remind all the church family of this, so we all serve him with the gifts he's given us and draw others to do the same. So let's be encouraging each other in this as we meet, and also looking out for those who are new - welcoming them and including them.
In order to help each of us do what the Lord has called us to do as a church, we have a great team of staff and interns whose role is to equip us and also to take responsibility for various areas of our church life. At this time of year we often say hello and goodbye to staff.
So this year we're pleased to welcome Sophie Dearden as our new House of Prayer Leader. Sophie has been part of St Cuthbert's House of Prayer since it began and has been an assistant leader in the past. She will take over from where James Fletcher left off when he and Natasha moved to Athens as Mission Partners at Easter. Sophie is a woman of prayer and has great vision for the House of Prayer, wanting to integrate it even more in the wider life of The Belfrey. It's great to have Sophie on the staff team!
We also welcome twelve new interns who are joining our New Wine Discipleship Year hub. They are: Rachel Sterling (Students), Katie Hallett (Worship), Safaa Hwang (Students), Charlotte Sauer (Children), Beth Hayden (Youth), Rebecca Smith (Students), Hannah Jeal (Worship), Zoe Buckingham (Production & Tech), Nathan Hook (Youth), Issy Flynn (Worship), Patrick Corley (Students) and Louis Watson (York Community Church). It's great that we can invest in these young adults as they learn and serve. Please be looking out for them and encouraging them, especially as they find their feet in their new roles.
We had hoped to be able to announce our new Associate Minister by now, but we still await the DBS checks (which presently are taking around 8 weeks). As soon as that is through we'll let you know as we prepare for them joining us between now and Christmas.
One person we're saying goodbye to at this time is Ian McElligott. Ian has been with us for three years, coming from St Paul's Camberley to help us with our church administration. Working quietly in the background, Ian has especially steered our seasonal cafes, enabled us to transition to new pension arrangements for staff and in recent months worked to streamline our database, helping us become GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. Ian is leaving us to focus more on his music, which is his real passion in life. Please pray for him and Annie as they move to a new home in Huntington later this month and start this new chapter of life. As I said to the staff recently, amongst other things we will miss Ian's fine waterproof clothing and the quiet sound of brass band music emanating from this office!
There are three Belfrey people beginning ordination training this month at Cranmer Hall Durham: Miriam Thurlow (who's been with us for the last four years, working for the last year with Messy Church), Richard Barber (who's been with us since student days and served especially in worship and youth) and Emma Allison (who was a student with us and then worked last year for a church in Leeds). It's great to be sending such good people forward for leadership in the church. Do give thanks for them and be praying.
Please be praying too for those in our church family who are unwell. In particular do remember Doug Tyson in your prayers, who went into hospital this week, praying for him and Sylvia.
Finally, the funeral of Biruta Trejonis will be in St Michael le Belfrey Church on Friday 14th September at 11.30am, followed by refreshments in church. If you can, please do join us, along with family and friends as we give thanks for Biruta - this kind, resilient and prayerful member of our church family.