Hello and Thank You!

It is a real pleasure and privilege to be writing my first Jottings letter as the new Vicar of St John’s. We moved to Weymouth just before Christmas and have since had a chance to say hello and meet lots of people – but if we haven’t met yet – then I look forward to doing so soon.

As many of you may know this is a return to Weymouth for Susie and I as we lived here from 2003—2008 when I was the Parish Youth Minister. We really enjoyed living in Weymouth and so were thrilled to have the opportunity to come back and live by the sea again. We now have four children, Noah (8), Poppy (6), Isaac (4) and Jacob (1) and they are also really enjoying being here – and loving regular trips to the beach! Moving back has been made all the easier thanks to the incredibly warm welcome that we have received from all at St John’s – so thank you from all of us.

At my Licensing and Installation service we heard Bishop Karen speak about partnership. She reminded us that the best things come through collaboration and that as Christians we are not just called to work together but are called to deep and real relationships where we share life, laughter and tears. She also reminded us of the incredible news that we are all called by God to be his friends and to partner with him in sharing the Good news of Jesus and seeing his Kingdom come. It was a great message to hear as I start here with you at St John’s.

I look forward, therefore, to us getting know each other well, to working together, sharing together and living with and for God in this community. It’s also my hope and prayer that as we go deeper into our friendship with God and join in with his transforming mission so too many others will come to know him and his amazing love and grace.
Here’s to an exciting new chapter in which together we’ll share the glorious old message.

With love,

Tom’s Licensing

It was amazing to see the church full as many from other churches and invited guests gathered together to welcome Tom. We were there to witness and celebrate his Licensing and Installation as Team Vicar. Bishop Karen led the service and many clergy took part in the procession at the start. It was lovely to see a large group from St Francis Salisbury supporting Tom at the start of his new ministry.

Praise and worship filled the church led by our talented music group giving glory to God.

Following the service many stayed for refreshments and conversation. Many thanks to all those who prepared the church, arranged the flowers, organised or provided the food and many others who played their part.

Two invited guests emailed that same evening, “Congratulations on the excellent arrangements for tonight’s service”.

Fruitfulness on the Frontline

The whole parish has been following the Fruitfulness on the Frontline series for four weeks both in sermons and home groups.

How are you getting on, on your frontline? Has God helped you in a particular situation or with a particular person?
Are you willing to share that with the congregation as an encouragement to others? If so have a word with Tom or the Church Wardens.

How about joining a homegroup to find out more?

News from St John’s School

A Happy New Year from us all at St John’s Primary School to you at St John’s Church. It was great to be at Tom’s Licensing and Installation Service this week and formally welcome him, Susie, Noah, Poppy, Isaac and Jacob. I feel really excited about the way we will be able to continue to work with St John’s Church to benefit our children and families.

We held a lovely Christingle Service at St John’s Church just before Christmas and raised £265.89 for the Children’s Society. Please have a look at some lovely photos of the service that we have on the school website newsfeed. It was a very special event!

In our times of collective worship this term we will be thinking about the value of ‘Perseverance’. So far we have talked about ‘keeping going against all odds’ and ‘doing the right thing’. We will also cover ‘meeting a personal challenge’ and finally ‘encouraging others to keep going’. As the term goes on we will be looking out to see this value in action in our school community. A special thank you to Tom, Rev’d Nick Clarke, John Horrell and Mike Stear, who have offered to come in to lead collective worship on Tuesday mornings.

As you may already know over the past year, all the governors of schools in Weymouth and Portland have been considering the possibility of converting to Academy status. We would like you to know that St John’s Primary, along with, All Saints Secondary School, Beechcroft St. Paul’s and St Andrew’s Schools are proposing to convert to Academy status as part of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust (DSAT). The Governors believe that this will provide our schools with added freedom and benefits to further develop the learning opportunities and experiences for all our children. It will also enable us to remain true to our Christian values and everything that makes our schools such special places at the heart of their local communities.

We have had a time of consultation and have dealt with the majority of questions as they have arisen. Governors, leaders and DSAT have responded in more detail to some of the questions raised by staff. Please find a full response to the consultation on the school website.

St Aldhelm’s Church Centre was packed as the parish said farewell to Catharine Currell. We joined together for a Bring and Share lunch. Catharine set up a video presentation of her time with us. She was commended for her great creative talent which people of all ages had appreciated. She was presented with a love gift from us all and prayers were said for the next step of her ministry.