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REPORT TO THE APCM
(Annual Parish Church Meeting)
15 May 2024.

Vicarís Remarks Ė APCM 2024

My reflections over these last few days have been grounded in the scripture of John chapter 17, verses 6Ė20, which focus on Jesusí prayer for his disciples and all who follow on, coming to faith through their word.

            It is a reminder to us all that everything we do not only is rooted in our faith but comes with the assurance of Godís presence and intercession for us. As we seek to discern the Will of God through the Spirit of God with us.

            And so it seems the ideal time between Ascension (celebrated last weekend, 12 May) and Pentecost (this coming Sunday, the 19th) to stop and pause, looking back at our journey over this last year and with eager longing just like the disciples of Christ, looking forward to the year ahead through the power and strength of God always with us.

            In the joy of Pentecost, we receive afresh God the Holy Spirit poured out upon his church, equipping His people, His Church in service to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and our faith in him. And so in our reflections we take the time to thank God for the year past, for the many joys we have shared, for the challenges we have overcome together and for the unity in which we do stand.

            We take time to think ahead and focus our priorities on the Kingdom of God by being intentionally invitational in all we do so that others may come to know through us Godís love and grace for all Ė that others may come to see their church, All Saintsí Hessle, alongside them, present, visible and active in the life of the whole.

            Last year seemed to be a year of immense growth in the life of the church. It was a delight to welcome so many new people into the church and to see six teenagers and three adults come to confirmation.

            It continues to be a great joy and privilege to see so many babies, children, teenagers, and adults coming to baptism at All Saintsí. Alongside the wider opportunities within the community and through the schools to share and talk about the Christian Faith and building vibrant communities.

            Alongside the spiritual growth, new opportunities have flourished and we have seen the delight of two of our confirmation candidates joining the bellringing team in church. We have an active Handbell team run by Emma Robinson, and we have seen growth in our church choir through Paul Benson and James Webb. The music they all together produce in and for our services is just stunning and adds so much to the ministry of Godís Church. My immense thanks go to all the bellringers, handbell ringers, organists and choir for such dedication and using their gifts to enhance all that we do together for God.

            It has been wonderful to welcome Fr Stephen Flatt to join the Ministry Team, adding greater strength and support to our worshiping life together at All Saintsí. The ministry team not only support the services in church but serve in a variety of ways outside the church, especially in pastoral outreach. I thank Philip Rodmell our Reader, Rev. Carol Tetley our Assistant Curate, and Rev. John Walker our Associate Priest, for their ministry and ongoing support. 

Such care and generosity of time and talents has been on show this last year. From welcoming, handing out books and serving refreshments to more up-front roles and organisation, please know all that you do is noticed and appreciated. When we all do our part together the results are incredible, and they inspire others to be a part of a great team.

            Thank you to our churchwardens Paul and Gillian for their ongoing commitment to our church and to Stuart, our Treasurer, and Gail, Penny and Janet in the hours of work they do behind the scenes. You are all a great blessing.

            Thank you to Sandy our Baptism Secretary, Heidi our Verger, Andrew Hardy our Head Sacristan, Richard Hamshaw our Caretaker and Elaine our Parish Secretary, and to Graham Marshall for his help with IT, photography and schools work; and to Lorna Caygill our Safeguarding Officer, Eve our PCC Secretary and Julie Hall for her work with the Electoral Roll and changing the altar cloths. Thank you for the work you do week in and week out to support the life and the ministry of our church.

            I believe that it is our faith that sets us apart (Matthew chapter 5 verse 16), that we donít do all we do for self-glory, but for the glory of God, and for the genuine love and care that we have for one another, for the church and for the community of Hessle that we are all proud to serve and support.

            This faith and care have been reflected in the wider community and through your inspiration others have seen and witnessed our faith and commitment.

            It was immensely rewarding (and exceptionally hard work) seeing the church painted and new lights installed over a ten-month period, every inch of floor and wall attended too after so many years, exposing the beauty of our church building, which in itself is a gift and legacy for all. We as a church are particularly thankful to Pete Waslin who gave his time and talent to enable this to happen, to Angela, AA Jones Electrical and others who have helped financially and supported the work through prayer, support, and their enthusiasm.

            We look forward to a new year ahead in the life of the church, to the opportunities for further growth and outreach. To greater movement seen on our Tower Appeal with the many planned and supported events. To our retreat, pilgrimage, family camp, social events and teaching. We look forward to those seeking to grow further in faith and to all that God wishes to show us.

            I will finish with a few words from my letter sent to the parishioners at Easter.

I thank God for each and everyone of you, for your faith and commitment to Godís church in Hessle. Your generosity of time, energy, of faithfulness in giving, in prayer and worship, supporting our services and church activities and events, for all the behind the scenes and upfront work in the church you do, and have done for many years along with your financial support, it is truly inspiring and what it means to be the body of Christ. I couldnít be prouder of being your Priest and will work just as hard to see our church grow and thrive together.

Amen



 Revd Gemma Turner

 

 

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