When Malcolm asked us to write a musing about what’s is going on in our world as we partner with you on mission, we were grateful for the many blessings that came to mind, primarily the opportunities God has given us to build relationship back into the historical town of Guildford. Over the past twenty years or so, the relationship between the Town and the church has, to say the least, dwindled! So, for the past three and a half years a large part of our mission has been to listen, to be available and to build relationship. By the grace of God, we have watched a sense of community grow within the church and our relationship with the non-church community is gaining trust and a more solid foundation is being established year by year.
When we arrived at St Matthew’s, there were no children attending church, but this has been changing; so, a couple of months ago we moved some pews to extend the area at the back of the circa 1873 church and added a bigger table to accommodate the children’s activities before they go out to the hall for KidZone with the Children’s Ministry Team, also a new feature. Messy-church-for-families has also extended to be part of the Stirling Square Markets on a bi-monthly basis and we are delighted because this was at the request of the market co-ordinator. Six hours of crazy craft, fantastic stories from the Bible and of course, lots of fun – all linked into the various monthly market themes.
We are also grateful that our partnership in mission has included John and Ellie Macpherson, who join us to lead the families with music and actions at our monthly ‘messy church’. The kids come alive as they sing and join in with the actions whilst consolidating the Bible’s stories through music.
We are most grateful to God for your support. Thank you for honouring Him by serving us with your financial support, which provides us with a day’s stipend per week. This, in turn enables us to use the gifts we have; unhindered by financial burdens. Thank you.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Katrina & Jonathan Holgate
St Matthew’s, Guildford.