Shaped By God Together Process
As you will hopefully be aware, our Diocese are inviting us all to take part in local conversations about the future shape of the Church of England here in Leicestershire.
There are two opportunities to come along to a socially-distanced and Covid-safe meeting (masks, contact details/NHS App obligatory).
Details of these two meetings next week are on the document linked below.
There is some work to do before the meeting, and this will help you understand more of the process and give an informed opinion.
Each individual parish has the opportunity to give feedback afterwards, and this must be done before June 21st.
Our prayers are with you, and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible next week,
Rev. Sharon, Sharon & Stephen
A Resurrection Body!
As we come to the month of May, it seems like a good time to think about what we can look forward to.
The darkness of Holy Week has passed. We have gathered to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
One of the key points about that resurrection is realising that this new life is not the same as the one before.
Jesus himself tells his disciples that his body bears the marks of the crucifixion. He has suffered and his body is scarred.
He tells Thomas to ‘stop doubting and believe’, pointing to his hands and feet. This resurrection body is not perfect, blemish-free, past-denying.
It is a body that bears the scars of the
past. And so it is with us.
As we move on into more freedom, more social contact, more of everything, it seems, we bear the scars of all that we have lived through in past lockdowns.
We are not the same. Our lives will forever be marked by what we have gone through, and our experiences, negative as well as positive, will become part of who we are.
And it is the same for church. We cannot ignore the past – we don’t want to.
But we are not waiting around at an empty tomb. We are learning from our experiences. We will need to look different in future. And our diocese is helping us re-imagine how that can be.
We are listening to our communities (you might have done the poll on Facebook) and trying to make sense of the challenges we face together.
But we have to remember that Jesus didn’t stay physically present with his disciples. He left – that’s what we remember on Ascension Day. And at Pentecost, the great birthday celebration of the Church, we remember the Holy Spirit came in order that we could share the message of Jesus in every language and with every person in a way they can understand.
The mission of the church hasn’t changed. We need to take our responsibility to talk about Jesus in this generation seriously.
So as we share more of our lives with others, maybe some of the good habits developed in lockdown are worth keeping. Stillness, noticing our surroundings, helping our neighbours, connecting with nature – maybe even being more spiritual…..let’s acknowledge the people we have become and let God keep transforming us.
The Avon Swift Ministry Team
Please take time to follow the latest advice about churches in our group opening. Look on your church noticeboard or contact your church warden for details.
The Church of England also has a page where you can find the latest updates here:
If you have a safeguarding concern, you can contact the local Independent Person for your parish.
Their details can be found on individual church websites or on the church noticeboard.
Also see the links page or on A Church Near You.
If you are not sure who to contact our local benefice Safeguarding Administrator is Karen Morgan 01455 699259 or 07853 339936.
In Leicester Diocese, if you have concerns about a child, young person or an adult who may have been harmed or be at risk of harm, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers for advice and support: Rachael Spiers 0116 2615341 or Peter Holloway 0116 261524.
(Pete Holloway will be available 21/12 - 23/12, Tel 07930 887984. )
If you have concerns about the immediate safety of someone please don’t delay in ringing the Police on 999 or Children or Adult Services:
- Leicester City Children and Adults Services (incl. out of hours for Children’s Services) – 0116 454 1004
- Leicester City and Leicestershire Adult Services out of hours – 0116 255 1606
- Leicestershire Children’s Service (incl. out of hours) – 0116 305 0005
- Leicestershire Adult Services (daytime) – 0116 305 0004
Out of Hours Safeguarding Cover -
Thirtyone:eight will be providing the usual safeguarding cover in the evenings and at weekends.
Tel 0303 003 1111 (Option 2). Please state you are calling from Leicester Diocese.
In an emergency (especially if someone is in immediate danger of harm) you should always call 999 and ask for the police.
Childline For children who want someone to talk to Tel: 0800 1111
t’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated,
whatever age they are."
“We the parishes of The Avon-Swift Benefice commit ourselves to God and to one another, seeking to become a community that is centred on Christ and inspired by the Spirit to respond to the love of the Father and share it with others."