Minister’s Monthly Letter

July 2021 by Rev. Phil Snelson

Dear Friends,                                                    “🎶Give thanks with a grateful heart🎵…”

Thirteen years ago I wasn’t feeling so good, in fact I was seriously ill.  A bacterial lung infection had turned into a pneumonia, spread to my heart and become pericarditis which caused circulation problems with my liver and inflammation throughout my system which was then causing arthritic problems too.  It took several rounds of heavy antibiotics to shift it.  This was in July 2008 when we were preparing to move from Bedfordshire to Northampton.  There were some people who genuinely thought I wouldn’t make it at all… but I never doubted that God had called me to Northampton and so it proved to be.  I recovered (by about Christmas) and God has been very good to us during in our time here in Northampton.

I think 11 years ministering at Emmanuel will always be a highlight, formative time in my life.  So many good people, all with their struggles and quirks, but good people of faith.  God led us on adventures of faith without really ever leaving NN3 – plenty of adventure to go round there!  Free and informal worship, daily prayer, full immersion baptisms, the Café that was “home” for a number of lonely people who all-but lived there – even had a couple of memorial services there.  There was the relationship with the shopping centre management team and outreach there in vacant shop units with experience Christmas / Easter, Messy Church, Christmas parades, flash-mob carol singing;  more recently Foodbank and School Pastors and much more…

Becky has also found fellowship and support in her Emmanuel house-group and after several years of fostering, become the pillar of the safeguarding team at Blackthorn Primary Academy – plenty of “adventure” there too.  She applied to work in the school office and got the job.  Then they realised how much more she had to offer in family support experience and asked her to do that for them instead.  She has fulfilled and grown into her role as Safeguarding lead over 8 years and now she too is moving on:  we don’t yet know what to, but God always has something up his sleeve.

It would have been good to have had more time to spend around the rest of the Circuit too, but I redeployed and then got locked down with everyone else.  Nevertheless, I have enjoyed sharing worship and Bible study in innovative ways as best we can in most unusual circumstances. It has been good to work closely with other ministerial colleagues, Margaret & Hannah, and then Haydon at Emmanuel and more recently to be more involved in the circuit ministers team with Romeo, Richard, and Francis. I have so valued their friendship and support, sharing together in the work.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been thirteen years, and now we are preparing to move again to the top corner of Leicestershire.  I am trusting for a better relocation experience this time round!  In it all I give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for goodness, his grace mercy and wonderful love.  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support, for what we’ve shared in worship and all aspects of church life. May God bless you as you continue to seek first his kingdom.  May you grow to know and love Christ more fully and encourage others to do the same (Eph 4:11-16).

Blessings in Christ,                                                    “…🎵for what the Lord has done🎵”