Dear Friends
 
Well what a month July has been for us as a church!  The month kicked off with a burglary when thieves broke into the church office and stole the safe containing our Christian Aid collection, communion silverware, marriage registers and some other bits and pieces of cash and keys.  How they managed to shift a safe made from 3inch thick steel and weighing almost three quarters of a ton I will never know – though I did consider phoning around the hospitals to see if anyone had come in with a hernia or bad back – there were no drag marks or wheel marks in the new carpet where they exited.  Damage and goods came to almost £8000.  Thankfully we have insurance and at the end of the day it was just stuff and no-one was hurt – praise God! The congregation, community and other churches have been absolutely brilliant in their support for us.
 
Following fast on the heels of the break-in we had our annual Summer Fair and what a wonderful day it was and so well supported by so many of you – thank you!  We try each year to introduce something new and this year we had a World Foods stall, a Prosecco and Beer Tent and some really yummy cream teas.  This was combined with lots of kids’ activities and a capital Grand Draw.  We owe a huge thank you to our organising committee and so many from the wider community who contributed prizes for the Grand Draw.
 
There is a real sense of movement taking place at St Gabriel’s.  As we continue to grow into our community with all the new facilities (check our new community garden) we are seeing more and more families joining the regular congregation as well as some returners.  It’s an exciting time and God is blessing His people in so many ways.  Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and life in all its abundance!” Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?
 
Someone once said that we all have a God-shaped hole in our lives and we try to fill it with so much stuff that never really and truly fully fills that space.  I believe that! Please do come along and join us on any Sunday morning at 10.30am for a taster and see if it that ‘thing’ you’ve been looking for!
 
ALPHA will be running again starting in September – a unique opportunity to meet informally, listen to some stuff and then join a discussion to seek answers to those questions you’ve always wanted to ask about the Christian faith in a safe and non -judgemental environment.  No qualifications or previous experience required!
 
May you and your family enjoy a blessed and peaceful summer break.
 
Yours in Christ
 
Arthur