From Revd Mark Cheetham

Dear Friends,

The themes of gathering and connecting are on my mind as I write. These first weeks together will be a busy time as we embark upon this new church year, and I would like to express my thanks to all of those who have helped make the transition from David and Bryan to me such a caring and thoughtful process. The care that has been taken of Mariet, Nathanael and I as we make the move South has been greatly appreciated by us, thank you.

I am a long time Leicester Tigers fan and immensely enjoyed their recent Premiership win after a record-breaking season. Several things struck me about the final and the narrative afterwards, but I want to share one with you and let Spirit do her work. As the trophy was about to be presented to the victorious captain many player interviews were going on; the players spoke highly of and shared those moments with recently retired and bereaved club captain Tom Youngs.

Those who spoke talked about family both in the context of Tom’s family but also the Tiger’s family, they talked about being there for each other, they spoke of love and support, they recognised the joy of the moment and the pain of the club at Tom’s wife’s very recent death. From what I have read, seen, and been told, the Salisbury Methodist Circuit is a loving and supportive family as each community of faith seeks to be the Church that God has called us together to be. From such a solid foundation I look forward to  working with and amongst you as we bear witness to God’s love and show to another and to the whole community around us that a life-giving relationship with God is transformational.

A key dimension of our work together is to care for and encourage each other toward flourishing, as we  explore, consider, and enable one another to fulfil our calling. I want to affirm that we want the full diversity of our congregations and community’s to be represented in all that we do.

If I have understood some of the last years work, we are in a key moment of possible growth, and of new opportunity! And while some of the work to be done may feel ‘internal’ to ourselves as a church, they are essential to what makes us the people of God. God calls each one of us, in different ways, to be part of communities that are abundantly loved and loving, filled with grace and encountering our living God in worship so that we may all be inspired and built up for service to our whole world.

Further growth and deeper connecting is always possible and necessary in the service of the Kingdom, our celebrating in the joyful moments of life together and our care of those in need. As well as seeking to continue the rebuild the breadth of volunteering that is so essential to the life of the Kingdom.

I am thrilled that God has called me/us to join the Methodist family in and around the Salisbury Circuit. I look forward to learning more about your family and of becoming part of that family as we learn from one another and support each other so that we might consistently follow Jesus and in all things know that best of all, God is with us.

Every blessing,

Rev Mark.