Dear Friends

It is 2020 and although my eyes are not good enough to claim 2020 vision for myself, this is the year to reset our vision at St Luke’s. 2020 is the time to pray and plan for the next five or ten years. 

There is a desire amongst many of the people of Holmes Chapel Parish Church to see good growth and development, while at the same time building on our traditional strengths.

This desire is shown by the strap line which was adopted as our mission statement a few years ago. “Making Christ known in the community of Holmes Chapel so that all can share in the joy of God’s love.” As a statement it is a little less than snappy. But it is a good place from which to start as we seek to form our 2020 vision.

This desire was also illustrated by the Parish Profile produced by the Church Council (PCC) when they looked for a new vicar. “We want to share our faith with the rest of our community, especially younger people, but we struggle to know how best to do this. Our new vicar will help us to grow as disciples who share God’s love with the people we meet and make a real difference.” As I read the Parish Profile and see how this statement on page one is fleshed out in the following pages, it helps me in my task as I take on the oversight of God’s people in St Luke’s. And part of that task is to clarify a 2020 vision.

Many people seem to think that Jesus spent his ministry drifting rather aimlessly from place to place, guided by the demands of the crowds and the circumstances of the times. Such thinking is wrong. Reading the gospels in the Bible shows us that Jesus was clear in setting a vision and consistent in following it through. He went first to Galilee. He went to every town so that all had the chance to hear him directly rather than through second-hand ‘Chinese whispers’. He went to ‘the lost sheep of Israel’ and trained his disciples for phase two: be his witnesses in Judea and Samaria and beyond. 

If we follow Jesus, we will do well to seek the Lord, and to form a plan and follow it through consistently. That is our 2020 task, starting at the January meeting of the PCC.

There are other developments which have been incubating for a while and whose time has come. One is our Parish Weekend in September for all of the people of St Luke’s and open to members of other Holmes Chapel churches who would like to join us. Be ready to see the details and book up promptly. Two is our desire to address the problem of the deterioration of our church organ. Members of the PCC have been taking professional advice and fact-finding visits to help us decide a good way forward. More information will be provided soon.

A happy and productive new year to you in Jesus’ name,

Rob McLaren