Letter to STC Sheffield, 9th September 2022

Dear STC Sheffield Church Family,

Over the summer months I’ve become really aware (again) that these past few years have been so uncertain for so many people causing lots of anxiety. Political upheavals; a global pandemic 😷 and now a war – the likes of which we thought was consigned to history.  In conversations with friends and strangers I’ve really picked up on a deep despondency. The current and growing cost of living crisis seems like the tip of the iceberg for lots of people questioning just how they will manage their finances.

And now H M The Queen has passed away.

As the news of H M The Queen’s death filters around the world – global leaders, celebrities and politicians are all making statements. But what strikes me is the interviews with normal everyday people. They seem to tell of a woman who was a constant – an ever present source of stability in times of uncertainty.

So what do we do now that person has gone?

A Bishop once told me that the Queen told him – off the record – that she felt Christians were too timid about declaring and sharing their faith.  It’s a matter of record that she had a deep Christian faith – no doubt the constant presence people felt she represented was rooted deeply in the person of Jesus Christ whom she loved and served.  If you’ve seen The Crown, it included the amazing interaction between the Queen and the late Billy Graham.

Over the next few days we’ll be setting aside time to honour the Queen’s life and her legacy, and to give thanks for her devotion to nation and God.

Our church is open today 09:00-15:00 & tomorrow 10:00-11:00 – a time of silence and space in honour of H M The Queen.  More details to come about what we’re doing next week.

But there’s a few changes this Sunday:

On Sunday morning there will be a special gathering at 9am including times of silence & formal prayers for the King, Royal Family and our nation.

But big news: We will continue with our commissioning of All Nations Fir Vale (new church plant).  In a massive time of upheaval and national mourning we feel it’s right to launch the new church plant: a kingdom expression of hope in an uncertain world pointing to Jesus Christ.

And finally my prayer for our church family in this current season is this – that we may know the truth of Hebrews 13:18: ‘Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever’.

And as we hold onto that, we can be a blessing to our families, neighbours, colleagues and our beautiful city of Sheffield.

With much love,