Dear Church Family
John has invited me to write this week’s letter and I want to give a big thank you to all of you who came to support me and my family at last Thursday’s licensing service. I’m very appreciative of those who worked hard on lots of details to prepare for the service and to make the reception go so well. We made it through!
In the introduction to my Declaration and Oaths, we heard that the faith revealed in the Holy Scriptures is unique. Isn’t it encouraging hearing that this is fundamental to the nature of the Church of England. Then we heard that the Church’s job is to proclaim this scriptural faith afresh in each generation. That is a great vision and it is at the heart of what it means to be Anglican. I know that it is at the heart of Fordham & EAG’s vision. Praise God! It is foundational to the PCC’s eleven decisions which were made back in 2000. I publicly committed myself to proclaim this faith (and not another one) in my ministry with you, and I am looking forward to working with you to proclaim it afresh for Fordham, Eight Ash Green and the region (decision 10)!
In the service you made two commitments to me: Firstly, that with the help of God you will support and uphold me in my ministry. Please do! Secondly, that with God’s help you will ‘stir up the gift of God which is in you, to work with Francis for the building of God’s Kingdom’. As each of us pursues the gifts and ministry that God has for us personally in a way that joins our gifts into the church body, we can build God’s kingdom together. This is a fantastic vision, and it is a true Anglican vision! I encourage you to earnestly pray into this for yourself and your family. It isn’t a new idea; it is clearly going on in the life of our church, but let’s pray together for God to stir up our spiritual gifts, person by person, family by family for the building of his kingdom.
John Parker’s story has become a running news item on the YouTube show ‘Anglican Unscripted’. It gets covered and mentioned in shows 506, 508 and 509. Sometimes the three main hosts (two Americans and one Brit) do waffle a bit, but when they get into the substance of their analysis of the Church of England and Anglicanism is can be really insightful. It is helpful and encouraging to hear this outside perspective on the tensions in our parish and diocese. Episode 508 is particularly helpful. Search YouTube for Anglican Unscripted, then click ‘Videos’ to get to the latest episodes.
Georgina and I are looking forward to getting to know you better as we begin to become part of your lives and story. May God bless you through us.
In the love Christ
Revd Francis Blight