Dear Friends in Christ, Christmas 2017
As Christmas rapidly approaches once again, I would like to take this opportunity of sending you my annual Christmas greetings. As we are reminded of the birth of the Christ-child, that would change the whole course of human history; we continue to look to Jesus Christ as Our Lord & Saviour. In a society that is far less conscious of the sacred and more involved with the secular, we have to be strong and courageous in faith. The first gift of Christmas was a Child, and that child was ‘God who became man’. This certainly showed the depth of God’s love for humanity, that he would deign to take on our human nature, in all things but sin! Let us rejoice at his birth in our homes, our families and our community.
It has truly been a wonderful joy, honour and privilege to have been your Pastor for so long; I began my 16th year with you last October. I feel very humbled by your ongoing support of our parish and the life of faith in this pocket of the Lord’s vineyard here in Loughton. The work of Evangelisation continues. Bishop Alan Williams’ encouragement of the Stewards of the Gospel initiative also continues. As a parish we are slowly beginning to understand the whole concept of change within our parishes and the wider Church of our diocese. This work will continue with ongoing discussions about the recent proposals presented in a document to all parishes. The proposals are radical and will affect every parish. I ask for your continued support through prayer of this initiative. Our core group and parish group meet on a regular basis, and the next big meeting will be on Wednesday 24th of January 2018 in the parish hall at 8.00pm to which everyone is invited. Please come and join us!
Every successful parish is a reflection of the good will manifested by the people! I thank you sincerely for your involvement, support, encouragement and great faith. These are all indications that a parish continues to flourish. A very Big Thank You to all of our parishioners; you are ‘The Church’, and your presence is part of what being a Christian family is all about.
I would take this opportunity of wishing you and all your loved ones, both near and far, a Very Happy, Holy & Blessed Christmas; and every success and blessing for the New Year of 2018
With Love and Peace to You All.
Canon John J Harvey