It was announced at the end of December that Rev Azariah France-Williams, our Associate Priest, has been appointed to lead a new mission initiative in the Diocese of Manchester in partnership with a network set up by the large central London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

It is an exciting role, pioneering new forms of worship and mission in a very diverse part of the city centre. We shall greatly miss him, having benefitted hugely from his creative, compassionate and engaging personality over the past three and a half years. But we wish him well, along with his wife Anna and their three children Eliana, Micah and Rafael. Their last Sunday at St Peter and St Paul will be 8 March, so please join us there for a big farewell service called 'A People on the Move' at 9.45am.

We have recently been reviewing the mission and worship at St Peter and St Paul. Some very positive initiatives are emerging, building on the success of the Memory Café, the Cinema Club and other activities that Azariah has pioneered. These include a new Community Café and a Sports Ministry. So the building will continue to be used throughout the week for new forms of outreach as well by our existing community groups. Worship will also continue but with a different pattern. Instead of Sunday mornings, there will just be a monthly Sunday evening service and weekly Morning Prayer on Thursdays. This will allow the small Sunday morning congregation to join in with the worship at St Mary with St Alban rather than struggle to maintain all the trappings of a regular parish church. In time, we envisage new services to emerge from the outreach ministries that I’ve mentioned.

The end of one chapter is the beginning of another and all are welcome at our Coming Together Service at St Mary with St Alban on 15 March.

Best wishes

Rev Joe Moffatt