From the Pen of Rev Steve

Recent copies of the minister's letters from Rev Steve. These are reproduced from the monthly Newsletter.

August-September 2023: Goings On

It has been some time since I gave you an update on the Sidmouth Project. Much of what I have shared with you previously remains, but it is worthwhile revisiting what is happening within the town, in order that we can continue to pray for this work. So a quick resumé:

Bread Church has continued to meet. A small team gather at 9:00 am on Sundays twice a month to prepare the fresh bread and homemade soup at Stowford community centre. We are grateful to the community centre and their willingness to accommodate us. The main gathering happens at 12.00 which is made up of regulars and visitors. This act of worship commences with a gathering time and refreshments. This initial conversation is important and feeds into the act of worship as a whole. Around 20 minutes later we sit down and share the bread and soup and further conversation. Once the bowls and plates are cleared we have input or a catalyst for reflection from one of the leaders. The act of worship usually draws to a close around 1.30 before we collectively tidy the hall and kitchen ready for the next group. The group is not large in number, in fact the most we have attended has been 24, but the age diversity is good, and each time we meet it has been very fruitful.

Bumps and Babies remains part of what the Sidmouth Collective are involved in. Whilst the leadership of this group is with Angie Carney and Aiyana Gardner Houghton (Salvation Army and URC church respectively) we as a church contribute. One of our members is the provider of cakes for the group and the circuit has provided bean bags for the mums to sit on. This group, that meets at Primley URC, was clearly needed within the town and the mums are very supportive of each other, in an environment of warmth and hospitality.

The after-school club, known as Connect, continues to meet, apart from the school holidays, on a Friday afternoon, again at Primley URC. Attending this after school club is by invitation only in order that we can provide a safe mindfulness space to those high school students that most need it. It is deliberately not a loud active group, but the interactions that we share there have been so valuable.

We will soon be setting up a paperless choir in the town in order to provide a further space for people to connect in community. The choir will not be performing and there is no need to have musical ability; it will be singing for the pleasure of it. Once the details are finalised, advertising will appear in readiness for an autumn start.

Finally with my project hat on, I continue to work closely with Gateway, which you may have seen has recently become a charity. You will have also seen that sometimes that interaction takes place from the foyer of the church. This has proved a success, allowing the charity to have a higher profile within the town.

This, by its very nature, is only a resume of what I am involved in. If you want more detail, then please speak to me.

Finally, away from the project and more towards the life of our church, I wanted to take this opportunity of thanking those folk who have contributed to the audio-visual system within the church and hall. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will ease the burden on our church funds. If people still wish to contribute it isn’t too late. If you are not sure what to do then the stewards should be able to assist you.

Every Blessing.over the remainder of the summer

From the Pen of Rev Steve
It has been some time since I gave you an update