Monthly newsletter

 

Dear Friends,

In spite of numerous, previous versions, I write a final letter for a church newsletter as my time of being your temporary minister comes to an end.  With the arrival of the Revd. Nik Wooller in August, Cartway will enjoy a new start in terms of regular ministry and, I pray, new ventures in worship and mission.  My prayer that this new period will bring many blessings both to the church and to the witness of the church here in Bridgnorth.

As I (attempt to) go into full retirement, I want to thank you all for your gracious and patient partnership in the life of our church.  Over the years I have had the privilege of ministering at Cartway on numerous occasions, and always found the warmth and the acceptance of the church family generous and encouraging.  Even as we have dealt with major disturbances to our routines, or come to changes ecumenically, it has been a testimony to the Grace of God that we have continued to be a ‘Together Congregation’ and for that and my part in it I will always be thankful.

One of my driving principles in ministry is the one given to the disciples by Jesus. As he taught and encouraged them, he added to the commandments by saying “Love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another”.  The challenge is to love one another in the way that Jesus loved.  That isn’t always plain sailing, and it doesn’t mean avoiding differences or alternative points of view, indeed Jesus loved deeply but didn’t avoid pointing out what may have been wrong or unacceptable in the relationships they shared with him. But it was always offered in the kindest ways possible and always in each other’s best interest.

I hope that as we have dealt with our difficult and challenging issues, I have managed to achieve something of that model of ministry for Cartway.  My prayer is that with the continuing improvement to the property (well done and best wishes for the future) and with a new minister at the helm, Cartway will grow into a stronger and effective channel of God’s grace and a medium through which many will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

God bless you all.

As always, Derrick