We were very conscious of the significance of the decision we were making and of your prayers. We were also aware of the mixed feelings that many people have, including those of us on the PCC. Having reflected on people’s comments during our 24 hours of prayer and fasting and subsequently; and after everyone shared what they sensed God was saying to us as a people, the PCC made a unanimous decision. This decision was to write to the diocese to ask them to begin the process of closing St. Matthew’s Church and making the net sale proceeds available to the PCC for the improvement and development of St. Oswald’s site.
I know that for many of you this will be difficult news to receive, but equally I know from people’s comments to me that many of you will welcome this decision as opening up a new era of mission and opportunity.
The process of closing and selling a church is complex and involves consultation, my prayer is that through this process we will “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”. Eph 4:3 (NIV)
There is of course much more that could be said to outline the reasons for this decision and that will be done, not least at our Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 11 April. But the PCC was convinced that this was the right course of action to further the vision and mission of m2o and more importantly was God’s will. As one member said at the meeting it was only on this Sunday that she felt God speak clearly to her that we were to stay in St. Oswald’s.
There are many details to be sorted out and I am sure we all have many questions. I believe that over the coming weeks and months issues will be resolved and we will have an even clearer sense that God is leading us out of “the land between” into a new season of mission and ministry for both St. Matthew’s and St. Oswald’s as we work together with Overslade as the family of m2o.