Rev Robs 64th Epistle
As I write, I am just coming to terms with the disappointing news of my birthday Charity Zip-wire Challenge having been postponed due to tomorrow’s weather forecast of snow and high winds!
Thank you for all those of you who have sponsored me, I now feel quite obligated to fulfil the challenge despite my fear of heights! The motivation however, is that I am raising money for Grow UK, a Sheffield based charity set up by our son Steven, which mentors young people aged 16-24, unlocking their potential to access employment.
The money we raise together will transform young people’s lives and, already, the young people who attended a course before Christmas have all found work despite their personal challenges and circumstances.
Alongside this, it is also good to see the lives transformed as a direct result of the mission and ministry of KMC, Zac’s House and our Circuit. It is always such a joy to see people coming to
faith and to see others experiencing God’s healing in their lives. God is at work in our lives, in the lives of others, in our church and local community.
Firefest was such a wonderful experience of quality teaching, inspirational worship and preaching, as we shared in discipleship training and explored together what everyday holiness looks like in 21st century Knutsford. Many people responded to the Gospel challenges and offer of prayer ministry. What a privilege it is to pray with a brother or sister in Christ and to speak into their lives. Thank you to everyone who served in any way to make Firefest possible. People travelled from Lancaster, Preston, Leyland, Southport, Staffordshire, Stoke to share with us, not to mention our guests from Cornwall, Washington DC and Dallas, who wanted to see and learn from how we do our mission and ministry in the local community.
Alongside our good friend Shane Rootes (Washington DC), we were joined by Randy Seedorff and Mike Trivett from USA (at their own expense). Both, had much to offer to us as they ministered amongst us and they were joined by eminent theologians Rev’d Canon Dr David Holgate and Rev’d Dr Raj Barat Patta. They all loved our hospitality and enjoyed the experience of visiting Knutsford.
Our ‘2020’s Vision Review’ at the recent AGM (followed by a Tearfund Soup lunch) was an opportunity to hear in more detail some of the developments that are planned in the coming months to our front doors and community toilets. We briefly used the film theme of ‘The Greatest Showman’ and considered how P.T. Barnum created a community which welcomed everyone to use their gifts (no matter how extraordinary) to serve others.
We can all look forward to the forthcoming visit of ‘The Watoto Choir’ (April 2nd) at The Brio in Northwich as part of our partnership with the church in Uganda. As this partnership develops, we can all pray that the opportunities presenting themselves can be prioritized and that the Kingdom is furthered, both in Uganda and the UK.
Congratulations to Jo Wallwork who has just completed the interview process and has been appointed to serve as the Zac’s House Administrator. Please do pray for her and for all of our Staff who faithfully serve Christ on our behalf. Encourage and affirm them in all that they do. The same applies to our Circuit Ministers too.
It is also a privilege to share with church families as we give thanks for the life and faith of their loved ones. In recent weeks we have remembered Cicely Georgina Smith (Mary Gracie’s mother), Frank Mullins and continue to pray for all who have been bereaved. It will also be helpful to share with Steve Bland at the Café Church on Sunday 7th April at 7pm as he speaks about Rachael and also launches her book ‘For Freddie’. I think that it will be good for us as a church to learn from his recent experience.
How great it was to celebrate the marriage of Vicky and Ryan in March, seeing them make their vows before God and our congregation. Vicky certainly enjoys our Monday morning Bible Studies with Scott and personally I have loved sharing with them more deeply as a family in recent months.
On Sunday 12th May 10am we will be celebrating our Church Anniversary and launching our Anniversary Appeal to finance both our new church doors and community toilets, after sharing in the Christian Aid Big Breakfast from 8.30am. We look forward to the whole church celebrating together, all one in Christ.
For those who have joined our church in recent months, we will also be having a New Members Course, leading up to our Pentecost Sunday worship on Sunday 9th June 10am. Please do let me know at the church office if you are interested.
As we continue to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter during this season of Lent, I encourage you all to participate fully in the services at both Knutsford and Plumley during Holy Week. Please do watch out for an opportunity to participate in the Easter Experience in Church. I always find this such an important part of my personal reflective preparation for Easter and how good that our local school children have an opportunity to explore too.
If we were to give up something during Lent this year, then I would challenge you to give up negativity, moaning, or groaning about our lot in life, or other people, or even the church! In the context of what has recently happened in New Zealand and in reflecting upon the death and resurrection of our Saviour Christ, I urge you to give thanks and to celebrate the many blessings that we enjoy together. Have a meaningful and blessed Easter.
Your friend and minister, ROB, Rev. Rob Cotton