As I write this now monthly pastoral letter to you all the words of the old hymn “ onward Christian soldiers “ is on my mind. In a war some battles are won & some are lost but the winning side is the side who wins more than the other side. 

Life can often seem like a series of battles or struggles again, some you win & some you  make a tactical withdrawal from.

This year we have had to withdraw from taking the Elemental tent to the Wickham music festival due to concerns over COVID & not enough volunteers to staff the tent over the festival period . The Circuit stewards are disappointed that we’ve had to make that difficult decision but think it’s the best one in the long term. We have been assured by the festival organisers that we are welcome to return with the Elemental next year. 

Our church lives have not been easy throughout the lockdown period, I’m surprised how much I’ve missed face to face fellowship with other Christians , Zoom house groups & YouTube services have been great but are not quite the same. I’ve even missed communal singing even though I can’t sing in tune. 

As we look forward our churches are opening up, youth groups are starting again, civil restrictions are easing, we might even be able to sing again in church soon. Church life is slowly returning to some form of normality.

So “Onward Christian soldiers , Forward into battle . With the cross of Jesus going on before”.

Stephen Freemantle 

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