It was good to be with you a couple of weeks ago and lovely to welcome Miss Wells and some of the children from Nyewood Infant School to our family service.
It has also been good to spend time learning more about the work of FSW and I am grateful to Jacqui and her team for the way they welcome children and families into the church.
As we remember Jesus’ words about how significant children are in the economy of the Kingdom of heaven, please do continue to pray for the school and for the work of FSW.
I was chatting to a friend a few days ago about Lent. He informed me that he was going to give up alcohol, chocolate and crisps and had the intention of taking up running.
Impressed, I asked what his motivation was? He told me that he was hoping to kick-start a new health regime, one in which he would have more energy and more focus. He went on to say that 40 days seemed like quite a manageable and contained time frame in which to achieve the results he hoped for.
Yet it got me thinking that the motivation for a Christian disciple during Lent must be more than a physical feeling of well being and self-improvement, although that may occur.
During Lent we seek to know and be like Christ more. Writing to the church in Philippi, Saint Paul says: ‘I want to know Christ – yes, to…participate in His sufferings…’
Lent is a deeply spiritual time of prayer and reflection which is focused on the upcoming events of Easter, including Christ’s arrest, persecution and crucifixion. Lent is an opportunity to participate in the sufferings of Christ.
Lent is also an opportunity for abstinence, self-restraint and self-discipline as we remember Christ’s Spirit-led pilgrimage into the wilderness and His combating of the devil by the Word of God. In remembering this, we are filled with inspiration for the battles we too must face.
If like me you find the discipline of Lent to be a challenging one, can I invite you to join me each day in praying the prayer of St Richard:
Dear Lord of thee, three things I pray,
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.
Apostolic Partnership Update
Please do keep praying about the Apostolic Partnership between St Wilfrid’s, Bognor and St Peter’s, Brighton. Whilst plans are progressing well, there is still much to put in place and prepare.
There has been a lot of interest in the partnership around the local community and a groundswell of excitement is beginning to rise.
We are trusting that God will bring many people to be part of the new adventure. It is true that we may see people arriving to St Wilfrid’s from other churches; however, our main emphasis will be on attracting and welcoming through our doors those who are not currently members of any church, especially those who do not yet know Christ.
We will be doing this by focusing on three things:
– The first is evangelism. Our primary mechanism for this will be The Alpha Course, which we will run on a very regular basis.
– The second is social transformation. We will play our part in the social transformation of Bognor by joining in with the excellent work of agencies outside of St Wilfrid’s and by asking God to direct us to how we should respond with the resources that we have.
It may be that we run Safehaven, which is a weekly opportunity to host and feed the street community and vulnerable men and women of Bognor. Or it may be that through Spear we work with young people who leave school needing additional support to get into work.
– The third is church revitalisation. This means that we will consider how our existing liturgical and a new, informal expression of worship might be best planned, programmed and hosted in a way which is warm, welcoming and accessible to all.
Our desire will be to honour, care and promote the spiritual formation of all ages and stages. At the same time, we will be very intentional in seeking to reach out to younger generations.
I hope to be able to update you on the Apostolic Partnership on a monthly basis using the Magazine and Website Blog as the primary mode of communication.
I may not know all the answers to your questions, but I would be so delighted to meet with you if you have any questions or comments. You can reach me by calling 07527 545692 or by emailing me using the email address
I’m grateful for your continued prayers and patience.
With love, Joel and Lella.