Well, the moment has arrived when Sally and I are officially here in Bury. If like me, you think it has been a long time since the announcement, you might be wondering what I’m like, and what are my plans.
I’ll start with the easy bit; I am a 50 something-year-old Scot who has lived south of the border since 1983. I trained as an enrolled nurse in Chorley and Preston before moving to Manchester after my wedding to Sally in 1986. We lived in Higher Blackley till I was called into ministry. I trained at St John’s Nottingham and was ordained deacon in 1999 at Manchester Cathedral. I served my curacy in Rochdale (St. Mary’s) before taking up my first post in Ashton Under Lyne. As the task I was asked to do drew to an end,I explored how I was next to serve the Lord and found myself in Formby in the diocese of Liverpool for the last 11 ½ years.
That is a potted history of how I came to be here, but it says little about who I really am. My first love is Jesus, closely followed by Sally, my wife and the rest of
our family, Heather and Andrew, Louise and now grand-daughter Sophia.
My love for Jesus keeps on growing and I have come to Bury to continue to serve Him first and to try and find out what He has in store for Roch Valley and Bircle. I have not come with set plans but seek only to help grow the Kingdom of God. To this end, I come with a servant's heart and a listening ear. From what I have managed to discern in my short time, I am sure that some things will change (as yet I don’t know which things but with the help of all at Roch Valley and Bircle and with much prayer I am sure we will find our way forward.)
As I have been preparing to arrive my reading has focused around the theme of unity. I believe that the Kingdom of God, needs His church to be united in purpose and working to its strengths. To this end, you might be happy to hear that I don’t think “one size fits all”. The call of Jesus in his prayer in John 17 askes us to look seriously at being a united church serving one God, - what will this look like? As Bishop Pete Broadbent(Bishop of Willesden) said in his introduction to Malcolm Duncan’s book “One for
All”; “It would be unity, not uniformity. It would include every Christian believer- none of us are exempt from the call to unity”. To this end, I plan to share all plans with every church as and when they are formulated, - I would seek to meet with fellow ministers of the gospel together so we all know how we can support one another and share best practice. I’m sure that there is much more I would like to say but until I have the chance to worship with you I will hold council, and just say that I am glad to be here, grateful for the chance to serve Christ in this place and looking forward to
what the future has to offer.
bless us as we seek to raise high the banner of Christ over this part of His
Christ, Harvie 17.10.19