Friday, 15 October 2010

St Martin’s Golden Jubilee

St Martin's Church was consecrated on the 22nd October 1960 by the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Arthur Stretton Reeve.  Today fifty years on, we are delighted to welcome to St Martin's the present Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill, who is leading us in our Golden Jubilee celebrations. 
Although today we mark St Martin's Golden Jubilee, the reality is that the history of St Martin's goes back more than fifty years.  Plans to build a church on the site of St Martin's go back to the 1940s, and for two years before the church was consecrated services used to be held in the Red House pub (now the Longhorn).  
In the Bible the only church that is mentioned is one that is made of living stones (1 Peter 2:5).  This is a reminder that St Martin's Church isn't a building, but people, and today we thank God for the faithful witness and service of all who have been part of St Martin's during the course of its history. 
The Bible also describes the church as being like a family (John 1:12), a place where people can experience a real sense of love, fellowship and support in good times and bad.  It fills me with great hope and joy when I see the church family coming together to support one another and the wider community. As a church I believe we have so much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to. 
Our mission statement is In Christ: Seeking, Growing, Sharing and Spreading the Kingdom.  Archbishop William Temple said "Church is the only organisation that exists for the benefit of its
non-members."  Our mission statement reminds us of this fact, and that Christ calls us to work in partnership with him in growing God's kingdom.  Our society has changed a lot since St Martin's opened its doors in 1960, but our mission and calling remains the same, to make Jesus know, to share God's love and to make new disciples.  Our Golden Jubilee is an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves to the task of bearing witness to the love of God, as revealed to us in Jesus Christ. 

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last." (John 15:16)
God bless

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