As Area Dean, I want to thank everybody who has worked so hard to keep the Ministry Area going during what will be, mercifully, a short interregnum of just over 3 months. From a selfish point of view, Miriam’s appointment will take the responsibility off me because, in an interregnum, a Ministry Area is under the care of the Area Dean. I am sure that, like me’ you are looking forward to welcoming Miriam and her family to live and work among you
I am particularly grateful to Peter and Jen and the Readers for covering so many services and to members of the churches who accepted the fact that they had to travel to another church to worship. The days of every church in a Ministry Area having a service every Sunday are almost gone because of a lack of people to conduct them.
I have enjoyed covering some of your services (especially when Jen has been my ‘pusher’!) and you have always made me very welcome – Thank you. However, I was only able to help because Bro Ystumanner currently have a part-time Associate Vicar, 2 Readers, 2 retired priests and a number of Worship Leaders. Those days are fast disappearing as they found out when Celia and I were out of action after operations (fortunately mine was a minor one and hers was a hip replacement) and Janet Fletcher’s move was to Aberdaron was announced.
All our churches have served their communities faithfully over the years but times have changed dramatically and we have to accept that and move on. Already the Church is totally irrelevant to many in our society.
When I was at St. Peter’s Machynlleth recently, in my sermon I told them about a bridge in Honduras. It was built in the 1930s over the Choluteca River and was designed to stand the worst storms imaginable and it has. In 1998 along came Hurricane Mitch which destroyed over 150 bridges in Honduras but the Choluteca Bridge remained standing and unharmed – a credit to its designers and its builders.
The only problem was that Hurricane Mitch was so violent that it totally changed the course of the river and the bridge was left standing forlornly on the side of the new river course entirely redundant and unnecessary.
Change is an inevitable part of life and those things which we think are permanent, secure and immovable are often sidelined. If we are not careful the Church, of all denominations, will become like the Choluteca Bridge – irrelevant and redundant.
Our churches and chapels have served their communities faithfully over the years but we have to accept that times have changed dramatically and move on.
We need to be positive, accept the changes and say as a previous Secretary General of the United Nations said – ‘For all that has been Thanks, for all that shall be, Yes.’
If we don’t do that as a Church we will in effect be saying ‘Like a mighty army moves the Church of God, brothers we are treading where we have always trod!’ That would be disastrous for the Church and its mission. You have a head start in your Ministry Area with the wonderful dual purpose building that is now St. Peter’s Machynlleth – use it to its full extent, it is a fantastic facility.
April 20th 2018