Dear friends,

“we, who are many, are one body in Christ” 
(Romans 12:5)

Those familiar words from Paul’s letter to the Romans have never been more pertinent, I believe, than in the last few months. The Coronavirus pandemic has shown us more than ever before not only how inter-dependent we are as individuals but how we are truly part of one body, the Church. Though we serve different communities and work in different ways, all of our congregations have benefitted so much from the different parts of the body bringing their gifts and graces to bear for the good of all.

We saw this co-operation particularly during the height of the lockdown, when the Circuit worked together so well to produce some excellent acts of worship. They showed us the richness of the talent within our churches and allowed the Spirit to work among us in new and exciting ways. It is wonderful to see that same spirit of boldness continuing as our churches re-open.

Yet, that sense of being part of the same body did not cease with the end of lockdown. We continue to support one another and build each other up, offering advice, consolation and encouragement. It has been wonderful, as superintendent, to see the generosity of churches to one another, and to see individuals sharing best practice so willingly about re-opening, especially. I pray that that same sense of unity will continue in the months to come.

I have personally been very conscious of that sense of connectedness, thanks to the kind support and encouragement I have received before, during and after my adoption leave. I should like to extend my especial thanks to all those members of the body who worked so hard to keep the life of the Circuit flowing during these last months, especially in my absence: my ministerial colleagues, Margaret Logan as our Circuit Administrator, the Circuit Stewards, local preachers, the stewards of my own churches and Micky, who acted as superintendent. I am very conscious of how much extra work was created for all of them, and how they bore it so cheerfully.

We all know that the months ahead will be tough, especially as the nights draw in. I pray, though, that we may never lose that sense of connectedness and unity of which Paul wrote so long ago. Even if we cannot meet together, we remain part of one indivisible body, with Christ alone as our head and guide. Let us continue to encourage one another and hold each other up in prayer and fellowship.

Yours in Christ,