Welcome of Rev’d Stephen Spain and his Family
The clergy and congregation of St Mary’s Chalgrove were delighted to welcome Oxford Methodist Circuit on Monday 23rd August at 7.30pm for a service of celebration and welcome for Rev’d Stephen Spain, the new Circuit probationer minister. The Rev’d Peter Powers, the Circuit Superintendent, and Rev’d Helen Cameron, Chair of the Northampton District of the Methodist Church, presided. They were assisted by several members of the circuit and by Fr Michael, who was delighted to attend. Rev’d Helen preached a stirring sermon on Isaiah 43.15-21 and Matthew 28.16-20. Roger Derbyshire played the organ and the St Mary’s hospitality team provided some wonderful, and very moreish, refreshments.
Stephen, his wife Liz, and their sons Christopher and Peter, join the circuit, and St Mary’s, from York via Queen’s in Birmingham, where Stephen trained, and they were joined by friends and supporters who had travelled from the North to share the moment with them. They were warmly greeted by representatives from churches in the Circuit, who had turned out in good numbers to welcome him. In the spirit of the ecumenical welcome which we share here at St Mary’s, Bishop Gavin Collins also sent his own ecumenical greeting to the new minister, which reads as follows:
I am delighted to welcome you to your new ministry in the Oxford Circuit. As a recently arrived minister myself, I share with you the joy and challenge of getting to know and serving our congregations across the area, and as a childhood Methodist, I was delighted to discover such warm, deep and committed relationships between our Anglican and Methodist congregations – particularly here in Chalgrove, but also across the County. I am sorry that I cannot be with you this evening at this Service of Welcome, but look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to working together in the years ahead.
With every blessing,
Gavin Collins, Bishop of Dorchester