Rev Toby’s February Letter

Dear friends

Communications take many forms nowadays, many of them electronically based – including this brand new website designd by Roger Edworthy of East Lancs Chamber of Commerce together with a small team led by Elaine Lockwood.  We also have a presence on social media –  I hope that you have already found All Saints on Facebook @allsaintsclayton and on Twitter @churchallsaints.  There is also the more traditional medium of the montly Parish Magazine.

St James’ Altham already has a website – designed by the same team – and if you haven’t found that at then I’d encourage you to do so.  We also now have a Facebook page @althamstjames.  Again, if you’ve not yet ‘liked’ that then why not do so?

Communicating factual information is really important, but in some ways it’s the easy bit.  Communicating the faith, helping others understand why we are here and what we believe can be more challenging – but it’s a challenge for every one of us who calls ourselves Christian.

Within my induction service I promised to

be faithful in studying, teaching and proclaiming the truth of Holy Scripture, ordering your life to reflect to others the Gospel of Christ.’

The congregation – representing all those who belong to our two churches likewise promised to

‘be faithful in Bible Study and seek to grow as disciples of Christ.’

A parishioner then charged me to

‘be among us as one who helps us joyfully hear and obey and proclaim the Word of God.’ 

These promises and exchanges remind us that we are all called, each in our own way, to read God’s word and reflect on our own faith, and to take a part in proclaiming it.

As we enter Lent, in the middle of February, I would encourage you all to take to heart the invitation to join one of the home groups meeting around the parish as part of ‘hearing’ and being helped to ‘proclaim’ the word of God.  Meeting in small groups gives an informal and supportive environment where we can explore, learn, discover, share and encourage one another.  Many have appreciated the groups that met in Lent during the last two years.  Some indeed meet through the year – our Wednesday morning group weekly and our Monday group monthly.  By sharing together members have found themselves feeling more confident to share what they believe.

This Lent we are using a resource called ‘Generous God, Generous People.’  It is designed to help us look a bit deeper at who Jesus is and how we can respond to his love by leading generous lives.  Please do sign up for one of the groups as soon as possible and we will order you a copy of the booklet.

I pray that Lent may be a season of growth and renewal for us all in our Christian lives.

With every blessing