We were delighted to be joined by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, this morning for a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication following the completion of the redevelopment to the west end of St Mary’s. We were also joined by our patron, Robert Brudenell, representatives of the contractors (Roy C Smith Ltd) and other local dignitaries.
As part of the rededication, Gemma Hornby was confirmed by Bishop Nick.
The vision of the redevelopment started in 2009 when feedback from organisations and the community all pointed towards a more flexible space in church including a kitchenette and toilet to move the church forwards. This became the core of our Transformational Plan and 6 years on this vision has become a reality. We now have a disabled ramp, toilets (disabled as well), and kitchenette all disguised by curved seating which harks back to the monastic beginnings of St Mary’s near 1000 years ago.
This service was not held to mark the end of the project, but the beginning of a new chapter in the life of St Mary’s. One which is more outward-looking to minister further into the community.
St Mary’s embarks on a new chapter of its ministry. We give thanks for God’s provision, and rededicate our building and ourselves to serve God afresh in this generation.
Thanks be to God!
Bishop Nick with Gemma Hornby, confirmed this morning.
A large congregation joined us for the service. The font can be seen in its new position. Many have commented they cannot imagine it being in another place now!
Our Remembrance Service is at 10.30 on 9th November. This would normally be our All-Age worship, and activities will be in the Parish Centre organised for children if they wish to remember in that way.
As the centenary of the outbreak of World War I it will be especially significant and poignant. We will be distributing replica copies of the Gospel of St John which relive those given to each soldier serving during the Great War. For many of these young men the comfort and strength they found in the words in that small gospel were a lifeline to them. For some the physical presence of that small gospel in their breast pocket proved to be the difference between life and death.
Each gospel has a page within it where a soldier is invited to complete a personal declaration of personal commitment to follow Jesus as a Christian disciple. These pages, returned to relatives with their personal effects in the event of their death, have brought deep comfort to families.
We are asking people to take one of these gospels only if they have a serious intent to read it and find the same comfort and strength for themselves which these soldiers found. Each deserves to be treated as much more than a souvenir. Generally speaking it is not the book which saves lives – it is the words within it. To put on a shelf or in a cupboard misses the point.