It has been a great joy and an enormous privilege to serve as your minister over the past 15 months. Indeed, I can hardly believe that the time has passed so quickly. This has been the first time since my ordination, that I have had pastoral charge of a village church, and I have learned much from the experience. I have much appreciated all the support, help, kindness and encouragement you have shared with me throughout the time I have been with you.
The church is in good heart, and this is due in no small way to all the support and sheer hard work that our office holders have given to help us move forward and grow. We have a splendid team of Church stewards, and a fine team of people who maintain our premises, and are master minding our development plans. Our various groups are in good heart, and our outreach, especially through the Community Coffee Shop and the Big Issues meetings, has been a great help to so many. The warmth of your welcome and the caring and support offered to the people of this community is much appreciated. I want therefore to say a very big “Thank you” to all our leaders, members and friends for all you are, and all you do to further the work of this church, and to serve the wider community.
Many churches have a ‘great future behind them’. They look back, long for the good old days, and lose hope for the future. At Histon we have a great heritage and history, but I really do believe that we have a ‘great future before us’.
Attendance at Worship has grown considerably. We are welcoming new people, and the average age of our congregation is coming down. Aided by our house group and the Disciple Bible Study Programme, people are finding a deeper faith.
We are also beginning to explore ways of ministering to young families and children. We value those who have recently come to us from Oakington and Papworth, and rejoice in the continuing involvement of folk from Cottenham. We are aware that we now serve a larger area, and that this presents us with challenge and opportunity.
With so many possibilities before us, we seek to improve our premises. We rejoice that with the help of the circuit and district our plans for the refurbishment of our building are rapidly moving forward. Indeed we hope that the builders will begin work on site early in the coming year.
Rev Simon Oliver has done a great work in Cottenham, and I am very pleased that from 1st September, he will also serve as Minister of Histon. He is a very talented and highly qualified young man who, I am sure, will serve you well and lead this church forward in a very positive way. Please do pray for him and his family as they prepare for, and begin, their ministry here.
In conclusion, I sign off with the words of St Paul as he said farewell to the church leaders of Ephesus, which are recorded in Acts 20:32 “I commend you to God, and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up, and give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified”.
With every blessing, your friend and minister,
Peter C. Graves.