Dear friends,

Warm greetings in the name of Christ.

It has been great to be able to take a couple of weeks off for holiday and relaxation. Our holiday time was spent in Dorset (near Sherborne) and Cardiff Bay. The weather was very kind to us and it was nice to be able to explore many parts of Dorset, particularly the coastal towns, and then go on to visit the city of Cardiff and enjoy great views of Cardiff Bay. We even got to visit Barry Island – so you can tell that we have really been living it up!

I was delighted to hear that Sonia Douglas’s wedding went so well. Revd Katie McClure who presided at the service sent me an email to share with me just how wonderful the occasion was. Katie was especially grateful for the help of David and Pauline Evans and Jonathan Toovey. We pray for God’s blessings to be upon Sonia and Hayon and their family. May your future together be filled with God’s love, grace and peace!

When I was in Dorset, I had the thrill of driving on a number of narrow single-track roads. It was a hair-raising experience even for someone with no hair! You never know what could be round the next bend. You have to keep your wits about you on those roads and concentrate fully on the task in hand. Every time a white line reappeared in the middle of the road I breathed a sigh of relief, at least until it disappeared again! I think leading Christchurch at the moment is a bit like that. I am not sure what is going to be round the next bend in our journey together.

We continue to wait to be set fully free by the Government, so that we might be free to move forward with the worship and mission of the Church without hindrance or further delay. I long for the day when we will be on the dual carriageway together, able to make good progress on our journey, and to develop vision and growth within the life of our Church.

Wimbledon is about to start and it seems that privileged Centre Court spectators will not be required to wear masks. As a youngster, I used to love watching Wimbledon and I was especially attracted to those players who had the fastest serves. I was always impressed by the number of “aces” certain players were able to achieve in a single match. Serving well and with consistent accuracy is important if one is to win a tennis match. This truth also applies to Christians and the Church in general. Serving well brings its fruit and its rewards and blessings.

As we move forward, can I encourage you to serve the Lord with all your heart, using all the gifts He has graced you with, and all the energy He has placed within you through the gift of His Spirit. Christ is the Servant King.

We follow His lead. At the end of our lives and as we approach Christ, we hope to hear those words, Well done good and faithful servant. You ran the race; you kept the faith – here is the crown of life – eternal life.

The Lord bless and keep you in His faithful love and grace. In Christ