Wow, what a time we’ve all had recently! We’ve had a mix of sad goodbyes and then happy hellos in what for many of us in the church family has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

We thank God for Kevin and Helen and their ministry here at St Augustine’s and have sent them on to their next adventure down south with prayers, blessings and love.

Kevin’s garage mechanic phoned me up yesterday and was surprised that Kevin had left so quickly.  But then  his response was  ‘Well, I bet he’s out fishing already!’.  We hope and pray they settle in quickly and find how God is leading them.

And for Claire and I, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who has welcomed us this last week or so, from collecting us at the airport to filling our cupboards to kind and generous words.  We are really excited to be here with you, and get to know you.  To see you welcoming us, as strangers and friends, just as Jesus welcomed people.  So thank you!  Please continue to pray for us.  One challenge for you this week, as you go about things, is that while its easy to welcome those we like or who are like us how do we go about welcoming those who are different, not like us or we find are difficult?

The service on Monday evening was fantastic; to see so many people praising God as Claire and I made our promises to you and to God, and as you made your promises to us and to God. Mark and Mike were brilliant and many of us have been thinking about Mike’s words from Hosea about the need to harrow and plough as we walk together with God.  Thanks to Claire Bickers and Alan Pattrick, the vestry members and lots of others for making things ran smoothly.

Finally, it’s sad to have to let you know that Pat Teulon died this week.  Pat was a lovely Christian lady who is now with her Lord.  Please pray for her family and friends as she will be missed. Her funeral will be on Saturday 24th February at 2pm in the church.

Blessings, Matthew