Building For The Future

We are stewards of an incredible, beautiful and historic building. If our building were a person – what kind of person would it be? It’s an interesting question posed by Christian architect Nigel Walter. Buildings do have personalities. Elements of that personality may well be predetermined by unchangeable features – but a building’s personality can also be shaped and developed by the way in which it is presented and used.

The question is an important part of our mission. Church is not a building – it’s a worshipping community of people living with and for Jesus. There are ways in which buildings have probably constrained and contained the church over the years – and it’s good to see fresh expressions of church being developed around the world which are not housed in church buildings. I wonder how God will lead us in this area over the coming years – it’s exciting! So does this render our buildings unimportant? Certainly not! We need buildings. Buildings serve a practical need and they give us a focal point. They provide an opportunity to serve the community in a wide variety of ways. They link us to our past and contribute to the cultural heritage of a community. Buildings are part of mission because – whether we like it or not – they reflect something about us, what we believe and who God is.

So the question about our building’s personality is really a question about how well our buildings reflect Christ to our community. Spires are intended to point people heavenwards – but although they might draw people in – I’ve never known anyone who has come to know Jesus because of a spire. So how else then can our building point people to Jesus and play a part in seeing God’s kingdom come here in Weymouth? Now is the time to start praying and dreaming about the answers to these questions. At our Annual Meeting (ADCM) on 24th March we’ll be talking more about this and re-focussing on the St John’s Renewal Project which seeks to develop and re-order the building so that it can glorify God and serve our community – as has always been the aim since its construction in the 1850’s.

So – let’s pray, dream and talk together about what God is calling us to do with the magnificent building with which He has entrusted us.

With love

Pause for thought …

In Revelation 1:19 we read, ‘Write therefore what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later’.

Humanly in the physical sense some of us can see more clearly than others. I have to make an effort now to see properly at all times. We may need a little help. It may be something close to us such as reading, for others it may be distant vision that is our problem when we cannot see where we are, what lies ahead or where we are going.

Spiritually this can also be true and it is equally important we need to see where we stand. With our human eyesight we take steps to gain what is necessary to improve it.

Now what about our spiritual insight? John points out that on the Lord’s Day he was in the spirit and he heard behind him a loud voice. Who was it shouting at him with a voice like a trumpet? Well he could not see – he did not have eyes in the back of his head and he was looking in the wrong direction! There was ‘Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth (v.5)’ There was the one who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood. Here was the Alpha and Omega, the one who is, and was and is to come.

So when He turned what did John see? He saw many things. They were His purit yand eternity, His piercing eyes which see right through us, someone who constantly moved among the churches and the fountain of all power and knowledge. He saw a great God who brought him to his knees!

The challenge!

Do we want to see ourselves as He sees us?
Do we really want to see where we are going wrong?
Are we shutting our eyes to what Jesus wants of us?
Are we looking to open our eyes fully in order to share our faith so that others can see what Jesus can do in and through us?

John Downer

The Food Bank

As you may have heard, Tony and I will be taking any food donated by St John’s along to the Weymouth Food Bank. I have spoken with Ann, who runs the Food Bank, and found out the following statistics for 2018:

The number of adults referred over the year was 2,079
The number of children referred was 983
The total number of meals provided was 27,558
That was an increase of 15.9% compared to 2017

As you can imagine that requires a lot of food being donated and a lot of volunteers to make it happen but people have been very generous. I have been helping out there for over a year now and thoroughly enjoy it; there is the knowledge that you are helping the neediest people and the joy of doing it with other Christians from all over Weymouth.

I thought it might be helpful to set out what is needed so that you can think about whether you would be able to make any donations in the box at the back of church.
Food Bank Shopping List:

Milk (UHT or powder)
Breakfast cereal
Tins of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit Instant mashed potato
Tinned or carton rice pudding/custard Biscuits and snack bars
Toilet rolls Squash Pasta sauce Spaghetti Soup
Empty egg boxes (no eggs please)

The main need at the moment is for tins of meat, fish, vegetables or fruit, coffee, squash and empty egg boxes.

Thank you so much for considering donating.

Diane Blackwell

News from St John’s School

Hello to all at St John’s Church! January seems to have been and gone in the blink of an eye and we find ourselves already getting ready for the half term break. I am looking out of my office window at 5.30pm and it is still light! An encouraging sign that spring is on the way.

Over the past half term we have been thinking about the importance of persevering. There are so many examples of perseverance in our school where stickability is rewarded by great progress and achievement. However what impresses me most about our fantastic school community is how well children and adults at home and school encourage and support one another to do their best and keep going – especially through hard times.

We will be looking forward to welcoming the Salt Mine Theatre Company th to St John’s on Monday 4 March and then the ‘Spring into Life’ team later on that week. This is always a fantastic performance with an important message. It is a privilege to be the head teacher of a school where we are freely able to share the good news of Jesus with all.

The children will be visiting St John’s Church on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd April to celebrate Easter. We look forward to seeing you!

Best wishes,

Amanda Aze

Matters for prayer for the Old Vicarage

For the protection of the building
Finding suitable short term tenants to use the building
For Representatives from all the Team Churches to be part of the Project Group

Does anyone have photographs and other memories of the Old Vicarage? If so, please give them to Tony Blackwell so a Scrapbook of the Vicarage history/journey can be made.