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22nd October 2022

Dear Church Family,


It seems much more than a month since we had our Vision Sunday – but it was only four weeks ago. So much has happened in that time.


Obviously the major event over the past month was the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II. As I’ve written elsewhere most if not all of us have never known any other monarch in the UK, and although we may never have known her personally, I think we all felt we knew her and that she was a constant in the background of our lives. And so with her passing, one of the threads of the tapestry of life has been removed. This could leave us feeling uncertain, fragile and anxious. As followers of Jesus however, there is a greater constant, one that will never cease. The Lordship of Jesus. He is still on his throne. He still reigns and he is not going anywhere. He has already defeated death! So in the face of fear, anxiety and uncertainty the best response to call upon Him. And ask that he would be our foundation.


I want to express my deep thanks to all those who assisted in making the church fit for use over the two Sunday’s of the period of national mourning. I know that the wider community valued the ability to join with us in worship in the church, and we all had a foretaste of our eventual permanent return. It was lovely for me to experience these two Sunday’s with you, and to acclimatise myself to the church building.


At the start of Sept, we launched our refreshed vision to “Revitalise the Church, Transform the Town and Impact the Area.” with a strapline of being “A beacon of God’s hope for Blandford and beyond.”


Our way of making this happen is through 4 mission lines, or buckets of activity, to put it in a cruder but possibly clearer way. These are Pray, Equip, Grow and Transform. Last week we touched on Pray and Equip. This week we’ll cover Grow and Transform. These are effectively the things we do collectively that will result in us achieving our vision.


In a weeks time, we’ll be starting a short sermon series working through the values we’ve discerned collectively as a church over the past few months. Values aren’t what we do… they’re the way we do what God is calling us to do. They’re about the culture we embody as a church – the way we operate, and the behaviours that we think are important.


Why do we need to articulate culture? Well culture is either explicit or implicit – and sometimes when it’s not explicit then it can drift, or even be the antithesis of what the community thinks it is. Explicit values allow us all to hold each other to account for the way we behave…. And that means I am equally as accountable to them as anyone… so feel free to challenge me if you think I’m not living up to them. A healthy culture is also attractive – people want to join communities that are healthy, and they can discern that as they see the way we interact and behave.


My hope is that as we articulate our vision, our mission and our values, then we will have a shared understanding and consensus of our identity and calling as a community which is essential if we are to prosper and thrive in the years to come. And ultimately that is I think something that most, if not all of us desire.

My hope is that you will reflect on these things over the next few months, and own them for yourselves as we seek to follow Jesus and reflect him into Blandford and beyond.


Many blessings