Our Vision for 2019

"Stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel"

(Philippians 1:27)

Happy New Year!

Well that’s it, 2018 finished, the end of my first full year as vicar here in Hereford, and how quickly it has gone! The start of a new year is a good time to take stock of what has happened over the previous year and to look ahead to the coming year to imagine and dream what we hope it will be like.

I know 2018 has been a very challenging and difficult year for many of you on a personal level, and as a church I know we have come out of the ‘honeymoon’ period of a new vicar being in post and changes have started to happen. Thank you all for your patience during this time, I know it can be difficult as we all learn to adjust to new ways of working.

As I look back on 2018 there have certainly been some challenging times, where initially it has not been clear how we were to move forward. But God has been faithful to us through all the changes and we have started to see some encouraging signs from those changes, Alpha, Bread of Life, and Messy Church to name just a few. This is down to a great deal of hard work over a long period of time and the promises/visions that God has given to the church over the years. Looking forward to 2019, I’m sure you would join me in wanting to see those encouraging times becoming the norm for our church, to regularly see people coming to Christ, to see the prodigals coming home, to see people encountering the risen Christ, to hear testimonies of what God is doing in everyday lives, to see God’s Kingdom grow both numerically but also spiritually within us.

In order to see this happen I believe it is crucial that now is the time we must come together as one church, all pulling together, forgetting what is behind and striving ahead to what lies before us. The Bible speaks of the church being one body, many members but just one body, and for that body to work effectively it needs each of those members to be doing what it was made to do. This is what I believe we need to do in 2019: we need each member of our church to know their gifts and to use them, not for our own sake but for the sake of the Gospel, and for each part to work alongside the others, all pulling in the same direction. This also includes our finances, I have no doubt that our finances as a church needs to increase in 2019, as currently decisions for PCC are very difficult given the tight budget we have.

To help us in this process and to help us remember, I have decided that SPSJ will have a Bible verse for the year, it is from Philippians 1:27 –

"Stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel"

There is just one Spirit into which we are all baptised and one faith that we all profess, so in 2019 let us join together all of us using the gifts that God has given us, being completely committed to the church, striving for the sake of the gospel that we may realise all of the potential and opportunities that lie ahead.

Happy New Year Everyone,

Rev'd Andy Morgan (Vicar)