The latest monthly letter from our Minister, Revd David Hookins.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
It was with great pleasure that I attended the last Salisbury Circuit Meeting to find that, after the necessary investigations made by the Circuit Invitation Committee, my period as Superintendent of Salisbury Circuit hs been extended by three years from next September. I am grateful to all the people who spoke well of the ministry that I have been able to exercise in Salisbury Circuit.
Of course this could lead to a degree of complacency on both sides, because we have become comfortable with one another. You will not be surprised to hear that I will do y best to ensure that we do not become ether comfortable or complacent. I warned the Circuit Meeting that this re-invitation will not stop me from asking awkward questions. It is a danger for churches and for ministers to lose sight of our purpose in the closeness of our relationships, and to stop holding one another accountable under God for our lives and our living. Where we fail to love, we need to remind one another to love; where we fail to pray we need to remind one another to pray; where we fail to be active, we need to remind one another to be active.
There is still plenty of work for us to do, and much needs to be done in the wider Circuit. With a far smaller number of people coming out of ministerial training college there is good reason to think that when one of our current ministers moves on there will not be enough ministers available to fill the vacancy. This would mean that we would have only two active ministers in the Circuit. Our challenge is to plan for this eventuality so that we would all know how we would cope. This planning needs the active and willing participation of all members of the Circuit as all will be affected. No church can assume it is either too big or too important to be kept unaffected. How would SMc cope with less input from a minister? Are our organizations, groups, councils and committees capable of running without a minister? I hope, and believe, that SMc is already well prepared but we must not be complacent.
Of course, our role is not just to keep SMc running unless it is to better serve our society. Never was the church more necessary as a place where all are genuinely welcome whatever their political, sexual, religious or national convictions. The prophetic voice is needed in our society and we need to be that voice, but we can only do this when we keep challenging one another to be the best we can be. As part of our challenge the first Sunday in October is being marked as ‘Homelessness Sunday’ and our main morning service will be led by a team from Alabaré. This is one of many issues with which we need to engage, not simply in supporting others financially but in our prayers and with our actions.
Your brother in Christ,