The importance of staying close

The Rector's address to the Annual General meetings of Creech, Ruishton & Thornfalcon Churches

Dear friends,


Last year’s Address focused on the fabric of our church buildings, and with the challenges we face. We continue to face many of those challenges, yet this year things are beginning to move in a more helpful direction. 

I wish to start this year’s Address, by using the words of Bishop Michael, the Bishop of Bath and Wells.


“If the headlines are to be believed, what a time of doom and gloom it is for the Church. We’ve been battered by Covid, splintered by Living in Love and Faith and we’re running out of members. But as ever, headlines can be deceptive. Yes, we are facing some challenges and it is important to name and address them.

I am very proud of the way that we in Bath and Wells are facing ours.

The Covid pandemic did hit us hard, but there are signs of recovery and many of you are continuing to utilise the skills and creativity forged during the pandemic to great effect in our churches today. I want to thank everyone who is enabling our churches to rebuild.”


Our Bishop continues to speak into the common challenge of rebuilding our church congregations and reminds us that it will not be some diocesan programme that will bring about change, rather the local church, you and I. He talks about the new life and new activities taking place, since the Pandemic, that are showing signs of new growth. Bishop Michael also talks about the importance of transforming lives by allowing the spirit to work within us.

I am encouraged by the steps we are taking to grow our churches; we share this vision and fully realise that the task ahead of us, is ours to do, and that no magic formular or initiative alone will bring about the kind of transforming presence we will need to see in order, to grow in our numbers thus enabling us to be an active Christian presence in our communities.

At the start of this year, we planned and looked ahead and are perhaps busier, fuller and more active in our communities and our churches than the year before. And that was a busy year! Yet its more than being busy, it’s more than being full. It will need to be about being close. Close to God and close to each other.  The Good news is this…. We are already doing it!

We have needed to be very flexible with our approach this year, flexible with how we fit together as a benefice, sharing most of the major events. Flexible with our venues, last moment changes, due to staffing or, as it was with Easter, our venues for services due to the inclement weather, flexible with our events and flexible with our giving of time, money and energy.

The fact we can do this, is so very encouraging. The fact that we can, means we are close to each other and close to God.

My prayer this year is simply this. That we remain close. Remain faithful and remember that it is by God’s grace alone, we stand. It is that grace we need to continue showing those around us, through the activities of our Benefice, that will attract people to come into a relationship with Him and His Church.

Thank you for all that you do, for all that you are and for your faithfulness to Christ and His Church. Here is to the year ahead!

Revd. Lee



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