As the nights begin to draw in and the central heating churns back into life, it seems that autumn is well and truly on us. I have to admit however that I love this time of year; the leaves turn all to red and gold, dew dances on the grass on crisper mornings and cosy winter clothing gets dusted off. We may not be quite there yet, but the nip in the air tells its story.

This year has been difficult for us all. Many have been ill, or isolated, struggling with work, or unemployment. We have been separated from friends and family and some have lost loved ones. Our whole way of life has been turned upside down. Yet in the midst of it all Christ’s light has continued to shine, and we continue to pray that he will be our rock and our peace through it all.

But as 2020 begins (too soon) to wind down, we have a few updates that we would like to share with you.

We are overjoyed to be worshipping in person again at this time. Our services look different, and we know that not all are currently able to attend, but we are thankful that this is even a possibility. We are thankful too that technology allows us to stream these services for those who cannot be with us in person. We continue to look forward to a day when we can all feel able to come together again.

We are also thinking at the moment how Christmas may look this year, how we can meet together to worship in a safe way. Please check our page for more updates as we get closer to the time.

On the 4th of October we were delighted to be able to celebrate with Peter as he was ordained a deacon. Although restrictions meant that we weren’t able to witness this in person, the service was live streamed and is available on YouTube.

As a church community we are currently in a period of vacancy, as Andy and Nicky have followed Christs call to Bangkok. Our incredible Church wardens are working with the Archdeacon and the Bishops to move us through the interview process as soon as possible. This is still in the beginning stages due to a diocese wide hiring freeze, but we are hopeful that as this lifts, we will be able to move on swiftly. Please continue to pray for all of those involved in this process, and for whomever God is preparing to fill the vacancy.

The work of the Basics Bank has restarted in our building as restrictions have lifted. Hundreds come through our doors every month to access this vital service, with the team providing invaluable support to those most in need.

We have also started our third Alpha course of the year. It is fantastic to see so many people exploring faith and discovering who Jesus is for the first time.

This period is strange for us all, filled with uncertainties and anxiety. But as the writer to Hebrews encourages us, let us as a church ‘hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’

With our prayers for you all,

Mac, and the Ascension Staff team