The Manse

Dear Friends,

There are so many of you that I haven’t seen over the last 15 months. And so many things that I had planned to do – including have a sabbatical looking at how ministers can serve several churches at once – perhaps all sharing the same worship at the same time. Sadly I wasn’t able to take that sabbatical as it included a trip to South Africa (HMG won’t let me go there) to look at how their ministers look after multiple churches; and also a trip to the US (their government won’t let me travel there) to talk to the pastors at my friend’s church in Minneapolis – they are a single church on multiple campuses (I’ve been tuning into their online worship on Sunday afternoons during the last 15 months). And of course I have in a sense been doing exactly what I’d planned to look at since the pandemic first closed church buildings to in person worship.

I’d also been planning to share with you in person over the last few months what your future ministry might look like once I retire at the end of September. One thing to remember is as the Synod now works in Missional Partnerships – and for us here in Cumbria that is the whole county with ministers based in the county being ministers of all the churches here. So when I retire you will not in a sense be going into a vacancy as you will still have three ministers – Alistair Smeaton, Lis Mullen and Martyn Coe. And hopefully ministers joining the team to service in North Cumbria and South West Cumbria and in due course West Cumbria.

Until those posts are filled, ministers leading worship will not be as frequent as you are used to. However, we as ministers are looking at ways the remaining ministers might be able to lead worship for all the churches albeit remotely. Which is what my sabbatical had planned to look at.

We will keep you informed on how we are progressing with this and how weekly in person worship will still be able to take place. One sad note is that the Elders have recently decided to close the evening service for the time being as they are not sure they can find enough people to lead those services as well as the morning services until we are able to get remote worship set up and additional ministers arrive in Cumbria.

Advanced information – my leaving service will be on Sunday September 26 at 3.00pm – there will be no morning service that day.

Every blessing and stay safe

Dave

Hello everyone Jackie here.

Before lockdown, a long, long time ago the tables we used in the main hall had to be condemned as they became unsafe to use. It was my intention to raise funds for new tables and chairs.  I have not been able to do cake sales or table top.  With Dave and I moving in October I wanted to get at least the tables. So, I had a think and I have come up with a way to celebrate my 65th Birthday. I will be walking from Whitehaven United Reformed Church to Silloth United Reformed Church. Leaving at 05.00hrs and getting to Silloth in time for either a tea or fish supper as I am not sure how long it will take me. If you could sponsor me that would be very helpful.  I am trying to raise around £1,800 this will get us 11 tables to match the 9 in the small hall and 5 larger ones which can be used for large events.

So, on the 6th July I will be setting off come rain or shine to Silloth. Even if you can’t sponsor me at the moment, please remember me in your prayers. Thank you. Jackie.