Latest Rector’s Letter

My dear friends,
There are some things in life you experience which change your outlook on life in an instant. Some of them are unusual – for instance, when Andy was travelling in Africa and the flight between Sierra Leone and Nigeria suddenly had to divert to Ghana, and left him there. He had to be rescued by two kindly businessmen. I don’t think he has ever taken travel for granted in quite the same way!
Some of them are more mundane, such as something I used to notice when I worked in Macclesfield. This was a magnificent large Georgian church which stood proudly in a square, where I used to take my lunch on a sunny day. I found out that this was Christ Church, built in 1775 by a local industrialist, but which became redundant in 1981 and was now in the care of the Churches Conservation trust, open for occasional guided tours but not in any active use. I went for a look around and felt only a sense of loss of the sacred. But what is worse is what such a closed church communicates about the state of faith to the people who pass it by, or live around it. This everyday experience has given me a determination to stop that sort of symbolic statement of decay and sadness to the world around!
If Christ Church was built in 1775 and can speak of such loss, how much more dreadful would it be for St Mary’s, site of Christian worship for a thousand years, to be closed in the future. We are blessed with a uniquely inspirational and historically significant church building, through which people can instinctively sense a connection with God, and be drawn to worship.
In recent years the make-up of our congregation has changed, making renewal a necessity if the church is to remain active as a centre of worship. But there are many opportunities for revitalisation which are hindered by lack of suitable facilities for hospitality, welcome and friendship, and there is a serious risk that our efforts fail because of these barriers. We have also lost opportunities to hold large events because of lack of facilities. We are one of England’s finest churches and it would be utterly unspeakable for redundancy to be our fate. So let’s make sure it isn’t!
Our buildings team have been working on this, and we will be having a PCC away day in July to finalise our aims and objectives. If you would like to get involved in shaping this please let me know!
With every blessing,
Anne-Marie.