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Letter from the Rev. Alan Crump

Dear all (soon to be friends and colleagues in Christ),

I am writing this just a few weeks before Shelley and I move across to join you all in our journey with Christ together. My mind is both on the move with all its excitement and hope, as well as on the pain of saying my farewells to people I have journeyed with and so loved here in Liverpool. Yesterday we had to say goodbye to a Piano that has been a treasured possession in our family and it made me think of past times, remembering my much-loved Gran and Aunty Mary playing it singing ‘All in the April Evening’. I have held many ‘last’ meetings and done farewell visits and recently had my last service at St Columba which was extremely emotional but very affirming.

This is a real time of deep reflection and as I look back over my nine years here and more recently over my time spent with you in Knaresborough and Bilton Grange, I rejoice in the blessings of God and the clarity of his will in this move. My heart is so full of gratitude to God for all that has encouraged me in my journey to date and the wonderful people I have come across on the way. Those who have nurtured me, those who have guided and corrected me, those who have upheld me in tough times, those who have inspired me, those who have helped make things happen, those who have tolerated me, those who have laughed with me and most of all those who have loved me.

The old hymn I learned in Sunday School ‘Count your Blessings’ has always been part of my theology and the Thessalonians were encouraged to do this by Paul who wrote ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ [1 Thessalonians 5.16-18]. It is true I have been surprised what God has done during my ministry in Liverpool and I so look forward to counting our blessings together, praising and thanking God and seeing how he will bless our time together and lead us into new pastures.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

So my hope for this Pastorate is that with an attitude of gratitude for all God has done for us in Jesus, we will share God’s love with our neighbours both locally and in the world, so they will see our faith through who we are and what we do and say and pray that they too will find God for themselves and enter into a relationship with Jesus.

I very much look forward to sharing with you in this quest.

With much love in Christ.

Alan

 

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