Rev Rob Cotton's 47th Epistle to Knutsford (July/August)
What an eventful few weeks we have experienced in our Church and also in our nation ! The nation has been thrown into turmoil with terrorist attacks and yet the stories of bravery and courage have been quite inspiring; alongside the recent election which has filled our media screens, with still some political uncertainty about what will happen in the near future. We prayerfully wait to see what now happens in the coming months.
At KMC on Pentecost Sunday, we received five new people (Ann Cowburn, Caroline Hebblethwaite, James Maude, Louise Maude and Penny Hughes) into membership and have also welcomed Christopher Mark Overrill Chapman and James Michael Waters in baptism, not quite the three thousand that was added to the early church at the first Pentecost, but, nevertheless, it is always encouraging to add to our church family.
The Pentecost Picnic was also a great time of fellowship and fun in spite of the odd shower, with a few friends from other churches, worship led by Vicky Royle, Luke Hill and Gill Royle, plus Clara Brown and team narrowly winning the Crocker match. It was good to referee the proceedings, even if Jen Manning almost did knock my head off at one point! The competitive spirit was certainly very much in evidence, with everyone determined to enjoy the whole experience. Certainly there would be a desire to repeat the whole experience again next year, but without the showers!
It was good to welcome our new Mayor Councillor Neil Forbes and his wife Jacquelyn to the Pentecost Picnic and it is great to welcome them for the Civic Service at KMC 10.45am on June 25th as I accept the privilege of serving our town as the Mayors Chaplain. Please pray for Neil during his year of office and myself as I seek to support him.
A number of our members also attended the ‘Big Church Day Out’ at Capesthorne Hall, with many of our favourite international Christian worship leaders profiled, such as Casting Crowns, the Newsboys and The Rend Collective. What an experience to be singing songs such as ‘My Lighthouse’ with around 11,000 other Christians, alongside the exhibitions and resources available. How good, that our ‘Open the Book’ teams were sharing presentations as part of the overall programme, with other Church members hosting some of the other exhibition stands too. We can all look forward to next year’s event on June 1st and 2nd, as we organize a larger church group.
After the success of our own recent Firefest Conference, with guest speakers Bishop Mike Hill (from Bristol) and worship leader Shane Rootes (Washington DC), I am pleased to announce that Shane will be returning to KMC on October 29th and also at next year’s Firefest event from May 11th-13th 2018, alongside gifted key note speaker Calvin Samuel (Principal of London School of Theology).
As part of our 2020’s Vision, we have been pleased to move forward with our Working Parties on ‘Reaching Out’ and ‘Worship development’, but also to share more fully about exploring the planting of a new church in the Northwich area in partnership with the Mid -Cheshire Circuit. This is a very exciting potential development as we prayerfully consider the launching of a church for the unchurched – which may be called ‘Tommy’s’ - for those who have their doubts, questions and need to touch and feel! Part of this vision is focussed upon the new cinema at the impressive Barons Quay Development.
We continue journeying together to realise the ‘2020’s Vision’ that God has laid on our hearts and our Church Council will be discussing the next steps forward when we next meet, alongside conversations in our Managing and Stewards Teams.
Whilst the level of response to our ‘2020’s Vision’ has been very encouraging and we do now have a strong sense of our priorities as a church, with the Church Council having a real mandate for the future, we will still be requiring people to make their personal responses to ensure that our Vision becomes a reality. If you have any questions, or require further information, then do please ask our Church Office or myself for the same.
There are many changes afoot in the Alderley Edge and Knutsford Circuit,with Rev Ben Clowes becoming the new Superintendent Minister in the Nidd Valley Circuit (Harrogate) and his Farewell Service on Sunday 23rd July 6.30pm at Alderley Edge. Please do make every effort to share in this Celebration of Ben’s time with us but also book the ‘Welcome’ Service of Susan Swires and her husband, Will, on Friday 1st September also at Alderley Edge.
As ‘a discipleship/ holiness movement shaped for mission’ who passionately share the love of God, may we also be Christ centred and Spirit led.
Your friend and Minister,