In the service – primarily a licensing service for Revd Rebecca Gilbert, our new Team Vicar – he asked these questions:
Do you believe that God has called you to lead the people of God in this community in new forms of mission?
Will you proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ, so that they good news of salvation may be heard?
Will you seek to grow disciples of Jesus who nurture one another in faith, uphold one another in prayer and encourage one another in service?
Will you, in the strength of the Holy Spirit continually stir up the gift of God that is in you?
Will you share your ministry with lay and clergy colleagues, ecumenical partners, and with all who follow the way of Christ in the local communities?
Then to the congregation:
Will you support, encourage and pray for Alison in this work of mission within and for our communities, that together our hands and hearts may be open to receive what God has in store?
In Coton on Sunday, I asked the congregation to release me from my responsibility as lead minister and to welcome Rebecca Gilbert in my stead, and I symbolically handed over my keys to Becca. Then she asked me to work with her as an assistant member of the local ministry team.
We ended the service with these words together:
We believe in an amazing God
who has been to the depths on our behalf;
who has risen in splendour and majesty;
who decorates the universe
with sparkling water, with clear white light,
twinkling stars and sharp colours.
We believe that Jesus is the light of the world;
that God believes in us and trusts us,
even though we make the same mistakes
over and over again.
We commit ourselves to Jesus,
to one another as sisters and brothers
and to the Maker’s business in the world.
So now I am lead minister for Hardwick and Dry Drayton, and lead minister in mission, in the Lordsbridge Team. With the help of God…