RECTOR’S ANNUAL REPORT – EASTER 2016
It is daunting to realise that this is my 16th and final report to the Annual Easter Vestry of Glendermott Parish. These past years have gone in a flash, and yet so much has happened in that time. It is hard to believe that in a few weeks I will no longer have the privilege or the responsibility for the oversight of the Parish. It has indeed been a real privilege to have had the opportunity, by God’s Grace, to work among the people of the Parish, in the building up of God’s Kingdom in this part of His vineyard. It is, and has been, very much a team effort, for all God’s people are called to serve Him in the work of the Kingdom, and I would like to acknowledge my gratitude to all who have played their part in this work over the past 16 years, some of whom have now passed on to their eternal reward. I am very conscious of my own limitations and shortcomings, and am very aware how dependant I am on the One who called me into His Kingdom and into His Service. Anything I have been able to do is only because of His wisdom, guidance and strength, and I would wish to acknowledge His continued provision as I come to the end of my ministry here in Glendermott Parish. I have truly been wonderfully blessed by God in so many ways, and it has been a joy and delight to have been given the opportunity to be of service here in these past years. My prayer is that the Parish may know God’s prompting and power in the years that lie ahead.
I would like take the opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to Arthur and Norma in their work of ministry alongside me in the Parish. Because of the size of the Parish there is an enormous amount of work to be done, and it can be a struggle to keep on top of everything that needs attention, and Arthur and Norma have been a great support both for me and the Parish as a whole. The vacancy will create an extra level of responsibility, and I trust that they will receive help and encouragement in the months that lie ahead, as the Parish has the responsibility of appointing a new Rector. I would also like to say a general thank-you to all who are involved in ministry of any kind within the Parish. A Parish needs a considerable number of people willing to play their part in carrying out the various tasks and duties in Parish life, each using their God-given gifts and attributes for the benefit of the Parish. Thankfully in Glendermott Parish we have many members who have been generous in using their talents, although there are many more who have talents to use, but sit back and let others carry the strain. I would like to express my grateful thanks to all who are involved in ministry of any kind, for all that they have done in serving God within the life of the Parish. This work is important, whatever form of ministry it is, and I trust that all will be encouraged to keep on giving of their best in the work of the Kingdom.
It is important for us all to remember that the work we do in the Parish is, in fact, God’s work, and all we do is for the glory and service of Almighty God, not for our own benefit or glory. This is what the Parish is all about, to be an instrument that God may use in the work of His Kingdom, and everyone within the Parish should have this purpose as the focus of what they do as members of the Parish. The Easter Season reminds us clearly how our Lord suffered and died to bring us salvation, and His resurrection assures us of the new life we have through faith in
His saving work on the Cross. There is therefore an obligation upon us all to give our very best in His Service, in thanksgiving for all that we have received from Him.
I would encourage everyone within the Parish to open up their lives fully to the prompting of the Lord, and to be ready to commit all they are and have in the service of the Lord, allowing Him to use them in doing His work. God can take and use us all, whatever age we are, or ability we have, if we are fully committed to Him in faith. So much more could be done, if everyone in the Parish took their responsibility seriously, and made a determined effort to be available for whatever the Lord has in mind for their lives. In all of this, the worship that takes place each week is vital for our growing in faith, and our equipping for service. Worship should be the number one priority for each of us, and yet so many in the Parish make little or no effort to attend Church, other than for special occasions. How can we expect to know God’s blessing, help and guidance, if we are not prepared to put Him first, and attend worship Sunday by Sunday? The Parish Bible Study and Prayer Time is also important if we are to understand more clearly what God teaches us through the Scriptures, so that we are better equipped to apply that teaching within daily life. All of us also should make the daily study of the Scriptures at home a priority for our lives as well, to help us live out the faith as we go through life.
Parish life and ministry has not changed much over the past year, although I have detected a slight dip in Church attendance. Some who have been faithful members in past years are no longer able to attend as they have in the past. But there seems to be a reluctance on the part of those with families to come to Church as a family. Those families with children at Sunday School should come to Church and bring their children with them, but it is clear that many do not take their responsibilities seriously. I would ask that all parents look into their consciences, and resolve to attend Church regularly, and to being their children with them to Church. This is the best example that parents can provide.
By way of the magazine I would like to thank the members of the Ladies’ Guild and Women’s Fellowship for all their help and encouragement over the 15½ years Canon Derek and I have been in Glendermott. We certainly have had some fun times whether at our monthly meetings or Annual Dinners and Outings over the years. To all the ladies of the Parish not involved in the Guild or Fellowship, I would also like to give a big thank-you. Any time we were catering for an event and especially funeral teas which have to be catered at short notice, I never once had a refusal of a loaf of sandwiches or “smalls”. I am sad to be leaving all my dear friends (a few men among them) but as I have told everyone, Coleraine is only 40 minutes down the road and those fortunate enough to have a Bus Pass, the bus stops at Greenmount on the Limavady Road and it is at most just over a 5 minute walk to our front door. There will always be a welcome (provided I am not touring Ireland with my Bus Pass), but take the precaution of calling ahead. My mobile number is 079 389 121 91. Love and God bless you all. Margaret.
The Rector, Canon Derek Creighton, would like to thank very sincerely all who came along to the recent concert and presentation. It was a lovely evening, and the participation of everyone in the concert was greatly appreciated. It would be wrong to single out anyone, and so a very sincere thank-you is offered to everyone involved. Thanks also goes to the organising team, and to all who prepared and arranged the lovely supper, which was enjoyed by all. The gifts given to Derek and Margaret by the Parish and organisations are very much appreciated, and words are inadequate in expressing how much it means to know that the ministry given in these past sixteen years has been valued by the people of the Parish. Derek and Margaret will take very warm thoughts and memories with them at they retire to Coleraine, and Glendermott will always remain close in to their hearts.