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Pastoral Letter - January 2021

Dear Friends

As we enter the New Year, we will be aware that the situation we find ourselves in (regarding the coronavirus epidemic) will continue for some time to come. There is some good news with the increasing availability of the vaccines which are now being distributed, and by the time you read this letter some of you may have been the recipient of a dose. In other ways, there is still much uncertainty, and we write this letter on the back of the changed arrangements around Christmas, which we know will have probably affected you just as it has affected us.

In the midst of all this difficulty we have celebrated a message of hope, of light that comes into the darkness, and of God’s coming into a world of need. As Christians, we seek to live by the hope and truth that God is with us in Jesus Christ. In our churches and Circuit, we continue to share in the Christian life, building on ways of keeping in touch and witnessing to God’s Word that we have developed through periods of lockdown. Throughout this time we have had to learn new ways of being church, sometimes eagerly embracing opportunities that have presented themselves, at other times reluctantly pushed into what has needed to be done, but in every circumstance looking to the Spirit’s guidance and power to keep us in Christ’s way.

As we move into 2021, we want to keep you in touch with what will be happening in the provision of ministry across the circuit in the months ahead. Deacon Merry Evans, who joined the circuit last September is now installed in the manse after a delayed move and is getting to grips with the Bradford North Circuit despite the restrictions put upon circuit life by the pandemic. Merry will be working on his role to help churches across the circuit to develop links between church and community.

Rev Mark Watson, our Anglican colleague, who has been the Priest-in-Charge at Christchurch, Windhill, for the last 7 years, is moving on to take up a new appointment in East Ardsley, and he will already have moved into his new residence by the time you receive this letter. We are grateful for Mark’s contribution, not only at Christchurch but also in the circuit, and we wish him well in the next chapter of his ministry. The Anglican Diocese are making temporary arrangements to cover the work in Windhill for the next few months, and from September the Methodist staff will be once more taking up ministerial duties at Christchurch.

Revs Christine Crabtree and Phil Drake will both be taking sabbatical breaks this year, Phil from 15th February – 16th May, and Christine from 17th May – 15th August. During this time, we are working on rearranging the ministerial links with churches – a revised list for the period mid-February to mid-May can be found at the end of this letter, and a list for mid-May to mid-August will be sent around at a later date.

At the end of the church year in August, Rev Nick Blundell will be relinquishing his superintendent’s duties and from September, Phil will be taking up the role of Superintendent of the circuit, and he will be working with Nick from May onwards to make this a hopefully smooth transition.

If you have any questions about these arrangements, please contact Nick or one of the Ministry Team.

May you find hope and peace in the year ahead

Yours in Christ

Christine, Merry, Nick and Phil.
The Ministry Team

Link Minister arrangements from mid-February to mid-May (period of Phil’s sabbatical)


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