m2o Churchwardens Update No. 2
Sunday 3 February 2013


Martin and Jackie Last Sunday we said ‘thank you and farewell’ to Martin and Jackie. The communion service and thelunch at the Workers’ Club were times to savour, with good memories, encouraging tributes and worship of our glorious God.

This second Churchwardens’ Update gives more information about our event on Saturday 23 February 2013 when Archdeacon Morris will help us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of m2o. Our conclusions will be fed into later discussions about a new vicar.

This meeting is for everyone involved in m2o, from all congregations and activities.  Coffee is served from 09.00, with a start at 09.30, and finishing at 12.30.  There will be a crèche and provision for primary age children.  Please book in advance with Simon [simon@m2o.org.uk] or Mel [mel@m2o.org.uk]. 

Our Shared Story
In preparation for the 23rd February please reflect on the m2o story, especially its last five years.  Our shared story is one of massive upheaval and unexpected change.  Though facing significant challenges, we have seen God provide and we trust Him for our future.  So what is our story?

It starts with the merger of the parishes of St Matthew and St Oswald five years ago and the birth of m2o.  Soon afterwards, out of a time of prayer and fasting, we believed that God was calling us to focus on the enlarged parish, the people and communities of New Bilton and Overslade.

In summer 2010, God gave us a ‘push’!  The St Matthew’s church boiler was condemned.  All services were moved to St Oswalds – on a temporary basis!

The following November God provided us with a way of understanding our situation, called ‘Beyond the Land Between’. It was the basis for another 24 hours of prayer and fasting.  The following quote from January 2011 explains.

“When the Israelites responded to God’s call to leave Egypt and journey to the Promised Land, they spent 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai, the ‘Land Between’.  It was a place of challenge and uncertainty; a place of doubt and quarrelling; a place of seeking God and deepening faith.  For many years we have been seeking God’s purposes in relation to our buildings and our relationships within m2o.  It feels like we are in the Land Between – unsure of our future.”

Two months later, in March 2011, the PCC resolved unanimously to ‘request the diocese to begin the process of closing St Matthew’s Church’.

With priorities to ‘build church life, dig into the wider community and sort out our finances and our property’, in January 2012 Bishop Christopher led the final service in St Matthew’s, headed the procession to St Oswald’s and challenged us to be like both Matthew, the Evangelist for Christ and Oswald, the King of Northumbria, deeply committed to the welfare of his people.

Our story so far concludes with major change in the clergy team.

It is a story of upheaval and un-nerving challenge, with many sub-plots.  But we have seen God provide on this journey so far and, by faith, we believe and trust that there is a destination that he has prepared for us.  Please continue to work and pray with us over the coming months, and make the 23rd February meeting a priority.

With our love and prayers,

Mark Richard Glenn Graham
Mark austin Farnells Glenn Lowde Graham old


Dates for your diary:                                  

Morris Rodham – essential qualities of growing &healthy churches Saturday 23rd February 2013
09.00 for 09.30 in Church
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Monday 22ndApril 2013
19.30 in Church

Graham Old, 13/05/2013