December 2017
Dear Church Members,
Pastoral letter for Christmas 2017

As we approach Christmas I thought I would take a few moments of your time to review 2017.  I think we can join together and look back with a great deal of thanks to God and satisfaction on what has been achieved in the last twelve months. 

We have had many wonderful services and we have improved our facilities.  One of the most noticeable is the new sign we have on the corner of our building at Lawson Place.  This has attracted many positive comments and helps our church to be seen.  It has been good to see so many new faces come into church and we want to welcome them all.
We set out at the beginning of our Mission Action Plan to address five principle areas involving our Parish Nurse, evangelism, finance, children and young people’s work and improving the church building.  If you look at the attached sheet you will see we have achieved most of them.  I want to say a big thank you to the PCC and Standing Committee who have all worked so hard, along with all of you, to achieve these things. 
However, it has also been a year of great sadness.  We have said goodbye to some very good friends including Jean Way, Tim Collard and Joyce Brown.  These have been stalwart members of our church but it is good to know they have passed into glory and are now free from pain.  We still have many people in our church who continue to need our long term support.  I think people like Brian Way, John Radcliffe and Doug Parsons particularly need our prayers.  I am sure we can think of many others who are battling long term illnesses and need our ongoing support.  To that end, I would like to thank our Parish Nurse, Lesley Williams, for her excellent work caring for these people and, of course, the visiting team she has set up this year.
There are some notable things we should give thanks to God for, one of which is our Alpha course.  Special thanks should be given to Mike Ryall and the ladies who helped serve the meals.  Our thanks too for the Shoebox appeal which sent 906 boxes to Belarus and, of course, the setting up and continuing of the Fresh Shoots group at Sebert Wood School, thank you to everyone involved in that.  We have also paid our quota this year, and also supported many charities with our tithes, which we paid in full, so we can look back with a great deal of satisfaction.
However, I know that God is calling us on to a closer relationship with Him and He wants us to become stronger so we can serve Him and our estate more effectively.  To that end I will be writing to you again in the New Year with details of a programme to raise additional money so that we can employ a youth worker in a part-time capacity and also strengthen our finances.  What is more important is that we continue to encourage people to be involved in the many different voluntary ministries the church has so we can reach out and serve our estate and our Lord.  Please look out for a letter in the New Year which will give you more information about how you can help.
In the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard prayed for us and served so faithfully, because you have brought so much comfort and joy to people on our estate and in the church.
I pray you have a wonderful Christmas and receive many blessings in the New Year.
With every good wish,
Yours sincerely,
Jonathan Ford
Revd. Jonathan Ford
Minister of Christ Church Moreton Hall.