Tom Writes..

April 2018

This Month Tom writes...Rev.Tom Ringland

Dear everyone,

A single strand of paper doesn’t have much strength to it, but if you interweave a number of strands together then you quickly develop a significant measure of strength. In the diagram here, if you were to fold all the ends upright and then continue to weave, maybe with a little ‘sticky backed plastic’ at first to hold the paper in place, you would be well on the way to creating a basket – such as may hold a few flowers or miniature Easter eggs. A simple handle can be attached. It’s the sort of thing our helpers might be doing with our Messy Church families. It also tells a story of strength in partnership, in working together.

Having celebrated the very heart of our Christian Hope over Easter – the victory over death and the promise of new and abiding life in Jesus Christ, we are reminded of just how important the church is within society. We are the repository of faith. We hold the story and practice of the Christian faith for the whole community and for subsequent generations. We owe it not just to ourselves but to so many other people that the church family is preserved strong, confident and healthy.

At our Annual Meeting after the morning service on April 15th, we will reflect on things that are going well and on areas we need to strengthen our life together. We will thank so many of you who have bound your strand of paper with others to make a real difference. And we will look to tomorrow, and who among us is able to take up new roles and responsibilities.

Although I don’t – at the time of writing – know who these people will be, we shall, I trust, be appointing not just a new Church Council, but two new Church Wardens. We will also be appointing up to three people who will attend the quarterly Deanery meetings and crucially keep us linked with our sister churches in the Diocese. In this respect, St Martin’s is itself one of the strands above that need to bind its strength to that of neighbouring churches in the wider family of the church. Lastly, we will be looking to appoint an Electoral Roll Officer. This is an important but not too time-consuming role, that helps people to stay connected through our official membership list.

The key principle in building a good weave is to spread the load evenly. We don’t want people over-burdened. We have a lovely tapestry of skills and commitment from a wide variety of people. As we come to this annual review, we ask everyone to consider how you are able to contribute to the whole. Some may feel their individual piece of paper is not up to much, but look again at the picture at the beginning. With your support joined to the support of others, strength and effectiveness is achieved.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, ‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken’.

With sincere thanks for your partnership in the Gospel,