Dear Friends,
What a great encouragement Easter was as we considered the reliability of the witnesses of his resurrection and the relationship we each have with the living Lord through faith. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make our services possible. We now look forward to our APCM on April 29. We will gather in the John Owen Barn straight after our service in church for the APCM and then will have opportunity to consider what PCC have decided and will communicate at that meeting. So please do make it a priority to read the annual report when it is published and to consider the communication that the PCC will be making by letter and by presentation on April 29. We are grateful to God for where we have got to, but I want to encourage us to live out the new life we have by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How so? Firstly, we are to put to death those aspects of our lives which are not part of this new life. In Colossians 3 Paul lists many aspects of our old lives, such as lust, anger, rage, slander, lies and cultural differences between us. So he says “Here (in the new self-defined by the resurrection of Christ) there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and is in all.” Colossians 3:11. For each and every Christian what defines us and what matters above all else is that we are being conformed to the image of our creator, we are being made like Christ. He is all and is in all. Secondly this means our relationships are to be built on Christ. Because of him we are dearly loved (3:12). But what flows from this? It means that we let “the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace”; it means that we are to let “the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God”; and it means that “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Everything we are about as a church is to be about Christ. He defines our very selves, his peace is to rule us, his word is to dwell in us and everything we do is in his name, guided by his word for his glory. How can we put this into practice? Well to be united, we cannot put the needs and desires of even the majority within the church above that of all, particularly those who have no voice – our youth and children. We need to remember the resurrection fact that he is in all of us and he is to be all for all of us! If we discount anyone in the church, we are discounting some in whom Christ dwells. And we must be applying his word to our situation. PCC have been spending a lot of time doing this and have come to a decision about the year ahead. Thank you for your patience in waiting for the results of our deliberations. Do come to the APCM lunch (book up via doodle.com/poll/d2vp38fxuqadkrs2 ) Make sure that you read and inwardly digest all communication leading up to it and flowing from it. This will help us all make Christ everything to us and so to know his peace ruling us, his unity binding us together, his word dwelling in us and his glory to be our supreme concern.

With much love in Christ, John.

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