As 2011 comes to an end I want to wish you a Happy New Year and to thank you for your faithfulness on the journey we have been engaged in as m2o, with all its challenges and opportunities!
As we begin 2012 my prayer is that we will enjoy a peaceful New Year and enter into the fullness of God’s purposes for us. I believe this is a year that will see many changes and when we will see the Kingdom of God advance.
We have just shared a wonderful Christmas together during which we saw increased attendances at all of our Christmas services. There has also been some good news about our future plans that have come through during this period that I want to share with you.
1. We have agreed the purchase of St. Oswald’s Vicarage from the Diocese and should be able to occupy it from the middle of February. There will be some work to do on it but our children’s work on Sundays will be able to transfer there almost immediately relieving pressure in the church on Sundays. The Office will be able to move down there a few weeks later enabling us to focus on one site serving m2o and the local community. Please pray for those for whom this will be quite an upheaval.
2. We have accepted a good offer for the Church Centre which will enable us to pay for St. Oswald’s Vicarage and the work on it, particularly the provision of an entrance from the churchyard. We hope to complete the sale by Easter.
3. The Diocese have approved the conversion of the glass screens between St. Oswald’s nave and hall into large opening doors – we hope to complete this work by the middle of the year – this will make the building much more flexible and more suitable for a growing congregation.
The diocese have also given their support to the building of a new hall extension to the right of the front doors (as you look at them) and a new enlarged kitchen and toilets – this work is planned to be completed in 2013.
I hope you have 22 January 2012 in your diary! This is a very special day when the Bishop of Coventry will be joining us at 10.30am. We shall start in St. Matthew’s as we give thanks for the building and all that it has meant to us over the years. Then we move down to St. Oswald’s when the bishop will rename it as St. Matthew and St. Oswald. I do hope you will be able to join us for this significant occasion.
I am also excited about the programme we are joining in together across the whole of m2o during Lent called 40 Days in the Word. You should already have heard about this but will be getting more information soon. It will be a journey for us all and an opportunity for us to learn how to be not only “hearers” of God's Word, but also “doers” of the Word - reaching out to our local communities.
I pray that in 2012 we will have a sense of God’s hand upon us as the family of m2o, that we will see fruit in our lives and in the life of our church. Please pray for one another and for God’s blessing upon us.
Jackie and I want to thank you again for all your support in 2011 - it's great to be part of the family of m2o!