Twenty years is a long time in anyone’s reckoning and when Jackie & I came to St. Matthew’s 20 years ago we had no idea how long we would stay but I don’t image we thought it would be over 20 years!
Thank you for the kind words spoken this morning in St. Oswald's after the service and for your gifts.
I came here as a young man, but now I have to confess I take much more interest in subjects like pensions than I ever did 20 years ago!
The world is a very different place now, our parish is very different now with Overslade and St. Oswald’s as m2o, and I, in many ways, am a different person. It has been a privilege to lead this church family over the years – you have endured my foibles and imperfections, and I have endured yours!
But it has all been a privilege – a privilege to be given this responsibility by God, and a privilege to serve alongside all of you, along with those who have come and gone during those 20 years.
We have had some great times and some very difficult times as God’s people over the last 20 years, and the more recent times have been no different.
Today we face a financial challenge of a £12,000 plus deficit and the real possibility of not being able to pay our bills at the end of December – I commend my letter to you for your thought and action – but I have no doubt that we will rise to this challenge and with God’s help we will overcome it.
I know that because God is working his proposes out in you and me, and whatever else has happened over the last 20 years, I know that God has been faithful.
Thank you for your love and your support, and as long as God calls you and me to work together, Jackie and I will continue to serve in this place – reaching out to turn unchurched people into a community of mature disciples, who worship Jesus and serve others.