Today, in a normal year, many of us would have been heading off to our Commission ‘Westpoint’ Bible weekend. This year it was due to be held at a new venue in Shepton Mallet under a new name: Connect Festival.
Sadly Covid-19 has led to the whole event being cancelled, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening over the weekend. On Sunday evening (30th August) at 7pm, an hour long event will be streamed for all our Commission churches. The event will include worship, a message from Guy Miller and from Vinu Paul, moments of prayer and more.
As part of the Commission church family we really won’t want to miss it, so do put it in your diaries now. Below is a short video from Simon and Liz Argent from Ascot Life Church to tell us a bit more:
As a church we have the joy and privilege of sponsoring children through Compassion UK in one of Africa’s least developed countries, Togo. It’s one of our Welcome Works.
Over 140 Togolese children have been sponsored by people from Welcome Church; we are helping to change lives as children and families are lifted out of poverty. Compassion only work with the poorest of the poor, so we are making a real difference. Please don’t forget to write to your sponsored child and tell them you love them and Jesus does too.
In June last year we also gave a tithe (10%) from our final Building Fund Gift Day to help support a Compassion Child Survival Programme in Togo. The amount we gave away came to around £40,000, which was then doubled by the UK government because we collected it under a special ‘matched funding’ initiative.
We have now received a really helpful update on what is happening with the Child Survival Programmes in Togo.
You can download the update below. It takes about ten minutes to read it through, and I would warmly encourage you to give it the time.
Look at the pictures of the mums and see how young they are. Read their stories and see the difference that’s being made. Take the time educate yourself on what we have all helped to fund.
Jesus knows them all by name and it’s our privilege to be part of this
I hope you’ve been having a good summer. Jo and I were not alone in having a trip to the sunshine cancelled, but we managed to get a few days away in the Cotswolds and also some time with friends in Honiton, including a sailing trip on the Devon coast where we were accompanied by dolphins 😃 (it was amazing)
I want to use the first of what will be several blogs in the days ahead to catch us all up with some church family news from the summer, in case you missed it …
We had our first Coronavirus weddings:
On Thursday 20th August I led the wedding for Leah Kapotwe and Allen Bower. It was great to see these two lovely families coming together with their five awesome boys. Allen is an Anglican Vicar and a widower. The new family will be based in Sunbury, so we’re saying goodbye to Leah and the boys as a church.
On Sunday 23rd August, Dean Guy led the wedding for Hannah Bathurst and James Oliver. It was a real joy for these two having had their original date cancelled due to the pandemic. I don’t have any pics from that one yet.
Coronavirus weddings are different, with numbers limited to 30, face masks compulsory and no singing allowed … but we did our best to make them special.
We had news of two new babies:
On Wednesday 19th August at 3.18pm, Pete and Mim Hewlett were delighted to welcome Caleb Edwin James Hewlett into the world – a firstborn son for them. Congratulations on this exciting event (and I hope you’re getting some sleep).
Precisely 30 minutes later at 3.48pm, Ben and Nancy Martin were delighted to welcome Hazel Grace Nancy Martin – a firstborn daughter. As if that wasn’t enough for them, Ben and Nancy also moved house to Hook this week, where Ben is now the Lead Elder at Life Church so it really is a final goodbye to them as they leave Woking behind.
We heard about a near disaster:
Two weeks ago Marian Boul, a much loved part of Welcome Church, had the shock of seeing her neighbours house (which is the other half of her semi-detached property) go up in smoke. The fire was caused (allegedly) by arson and someone has been arrested.
Marian is safe and well, but there’s been a lot of damage, including damage to her property as the fire was tackled. She now has the stress of dealing with both her insurance and the police, not to mention the horrendous smell. Please keep her in your prayers. It’s great that the Life Group and other church friends have been rallying round.
Lastly, we received news of a significant illness:
Janet and Mike Deavin are much loved by us all and have been a key part of Welcome Church for many years. Between them they have held many significant roles both in the church and the community. Sadly Janet was diagnosed this week with an aggressive, malignant brain tumour that the doctors say is inoperable and incurable. This news has come out of nowhere and Janet had no symptoms two weeks ago.
The doctors are working to prolong her life through the use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but without genuine divine intervention in the form of a healing miracle, the prognosis is not good.
Mike and Janet are experiencing God’s peace at this time, and have been blessed by the love and care being shown to them by so many. As a church we are going to love and support them all the way, and we are also going to pray. They are very happy for us to pray for healing for Janet, and are also at peace in their faith if this is God’s time to take Janet home.
Let’s also pray for their wider family, several of whom are part of Welcome Church.
So let’s continue to pray
Currently we pray online each week on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8.15am to 9.00am. Please join us if you can. We’ve seen some amazing answers to prayer in recent weeks, including for Mike and Janet’s prematurely born granddaughter Chloe, who is now at home and doing well.
If Welcome Church is your church, these prayer meetings are for you. The details for joining are all on our website. If you’re nervous about joining, feel free to come and observe for a bit; you can mute yourself and leave your camera off too while you get used to it.
Ephesians 3v20, which Leah and Allen had read at their wedding, tells us that God can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Let’s come before him in prayer and let’s lift every situation we face up to him, and let’s do that both individually, and together as a church.