I have now managed to
arrange with Bishop Donald a date when he can come to this Benefice to
take a service of Confirmation. This will be Sunday 15th October at 10
a.m. We have yet to agree amongst our 5 churches where would be best for
this service to be held.
Having arranged a date
and time, I am now seeking candidates.
Such an officious
title, what this means is, does anyone want to be confirmed?
Maybe someone who comes
occasionally to church or Messy Church, there may be people on the
fringe of church life who would like to come along for the preparation
classes [these are compulsory for anyone who would like to be confirmed]
and then to the service.
Indeed, there may be
people in our communities who would like to be confirmed, young or old!
What is Confirmation?
Simply it is the
opportunity for any person who was baptised as a child to confirm the
baptismal promises, the Bishop will then lay his hands on the head of
this person and thus confirm the gift of the Holy Spirit, the full
membership of the Church, the family of God on that person. Adults who
have not been baptised may wish to come along, to be baptised and
confirmed by the bishop in the same service, this is a wonderful
opportunity and I encourage any adults who would like to be Baptised to
consider engaging with this opportunity.
Those who are confirmed
are then able to receive the Blessed Sacrament, the bread and the wine
that, in the service of Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion,
becomes for us the body and blood of Jesus and, in accordance with His
promises, our Spiritual food, sustenance that draws us closer to Jesus,
I would like to point
out however, people who are not confirmed may well still be able to
receive this Sacrament, but that is a separate matter for another time!
share more widely than just in Church that we will be having
Confirmation later this year and then, anyone interested in being
confirmed should get in touch with me, The Revd Paul McLeod as soon as
possible. I am sure that potential people for confirmation will be able
to speak to Churchwardens or other church members first if they would
like to before the big step of speaking to me, a more relaxed way to
approach this possibility.
I really do hope we can
present some people who wish to be confirmed to the Bishop on the 15th
October. However, if not, he will still come to The Whittlewood Benefice
and take a service on that date, which means we shall only have one
United Benefice Service that day.
Parochial Church Meetings [APCM’s]
meetings, our churches AGM’s are coming up soon.
I would encourage
people to attend these meetings, they are the point where you properly
get the opportunity to discover what we are doing as church in these
parishes, to elect representatives to various bodies and even to ask,
what I always hope and pray, will be constructive questions about church
life, maybe even to offer suggestions as to how we could be better
witnesses to Jesus Christ!
I mentioned earlier
that you have the opportunity to vote, to elect people. Here is how this
You elect your parishes
Churchwardens, they become the Bishops Officers for a year (of course,
they may be re-elected on an annual basis). The constituency that elect
the Churchwardens is anyone who lives in the Parish or who is on the
Church Electoral Roll. Each Parish would normally have two
Churchwardens, this is the case in our parishes, each parish is entitled
and encouraged to have the two.
I mentioned the church
Electoral Roll just there. This is like our membership list. In order to
vote for anyone other than Churchwardens [indeed, according to the
rules, to even attend the APCM,] you need to have registered yourself in
the Electoral Roll.
If you are not yet on
this, each Parish has an Electoral Roll Officer who has forms to allow
you, if you're not already on it, to enter yourself onto the Electoral
Roll of your parish church.
This year, alongside
electing members of the Parochial Church Council’s [PCC’s] there is
an additional election which is for Representatives onto Deanery
Synod.people are elected to a three year term on Deanery Synod. We are
in the Towcester Deanery, on of 6 Deaneries in the Northampton
Archdeaconry which is one of 2 Archdeaconries in the Diocese of
The Deanery Synod is
there to encourage and enable the mission of God across the whole
Deanery, it can make decisions which can influence and shape the future
ministry in the
however, we more normally look at ways by which we can be encouraged and
educated in different and differing aspects of the work of God,
respecting very much that the place of Mission is the Parish. The good
news is also, there are only three meetings each year!
As the Rural Dean of
Towcester, sharing the opportunity of chairing Synod Meetings with the
Deanery Lay Chairman, I truly encourage people to stand for Synod and
then to engage in the life of the Deanery.
I also, as Rector of
The Whittlewood Benefice encourage everyone to come along to our
APCM’s that will be held in March/April.
It is with great
pleasure that I can confirm that we received a number of applications
for the role of Benefice Administrator, we held interviews in January
and we appointed Mrs Shirley Williams to this role. Shirley started work
in February and is beginning to learn the various tasks that are
involved. One of her duties is to be the minute taker at our WPT
meetings that happen three times a year, the meetings when all 5 PCC’s
come together to look at things that are possible and better arranged as
a Benefice (there are some!)
There is a lot for
Shirley to get to grips with, so please be patient as we take the time
to get up and running. It is though a great relief to know that we have
managed to be blessed by God and to have an administrator again.
The Archbishops in the
Church of England have invited us all to make a concerted and additional
effort for prayer for renewal in the period between Ascension and
Pentecost. This has been given the title, Thy Kingdom Come. We have the
opportunity to do some things a little differently, maybe a prayer walk,
have prayer spaces, in Church, in our Church Schools (it should be
school holidays then) or indeed some other possibility, whatever our
imaginations and our energy permits.
There is a small group
from the WPT that have agreed to look into this. I have not as yet
convened the group but am hoping to do so soon, however, if you have any
ideas please do let me, or your Churchwardens know (they will forward
the ideas to me I am sure).
For more information on
this matter, those of you with access to the internet can look it up at
https://www.thykingdomcome.global, and it says global at the end of this
web address because the prayer period is a global time of prayer! Isn't
of prayer, I sign off offering prayers for everyone who will read this,
for Peter Byng our magazine editor and for the parishes that make up The
Whittlewood Benefice. Amen.
Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 - Whittlewood Parishes