WORDS SHARED ON SUNDAY BY RUPERT & SALLY
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit." 25 years ago on our first Sunday here, I preached on these beautiful words of Jesus. So it is fitting that today we have heard the same passage, as Sally and I share with you that in May next year we will be leaving our ministry here, after 26 years of sharing with you in the life of Christ.
As we have prayed and listened to God over the last couple of years asking the question “What next Lord?” We sensed the connection between 26 years and 26 miles as the length of a marathon!! Neither of us have run a marathon but you do need a finishing line and even though we never imagined this testing time caused by the Coronavirus, we do sense it is still the right time for us to move to a new season next year as the church moves forward into a new season.
It has been and will continue to be a great joy to serve here. Our family have grown up here and we have loved every season. We are grateful for the many people who have lived with us as extended family and really blessed us, and we are so grateful for all of you with whom we have shared life, ministry and worship during our time here.
The heart of our ministry has always been our desire for people of all ages to get to know how much they are loved by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to find purpose and calling in life. We have enjoyed seeing many come to faith, be baptised and confirmed, become part of the body of Christ and share in belonging to the communities of believers at St Helen’s, St Paul’s, The Spring and Portobello. We are so grateful for all those who have served faithfully over the years. As we move into this new season of life, we are inspired by the many who serve and pray into their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. You are great example and an inspiration to us.
We are always encouraged and challenged everyday by the calling of Jesus to live with hope, grace and active love with the help of the holy spirit. We have loved walking alongside and seeing so many growing in their faith and bringing light and life, a Christ-like resilience and prayer to their situations. This is what Jesus asked us to do when he called us to follow him and be his disciples. Thinking of the picture of a garden we have seen beautiful growth; we have also felt as if we have been pruned right back during this time, but we know that after pruning there is always growth to follow. We also know everyone is finding ways to nourish their spiritual life and keep close to Jesus the vine. There is much to be done, much prayer needed in this city.
We have loved getting to know people in every part of this beautiful parish and city, sharing with so many at times of joy and sorrow and in between.
Above all we are grateful to God for his continuing presence and guidance. We trust in his providence to help us navigate this time of transition, especially during this season of uncertainty. May God be 'the rock of our salvation', as we pray for those who will lead in years to come.
We are still here for another 9 months and we will treasure this time and look forward to all that will happen during the seasons leading up to the great festivals of Christmas and Easter, which we will be celebrating in new and creative ways.
Let’s continue to live out our faith and to hold onto the mission that has held us together over the years, that with Jesus, the lost are found, the found grow and the lonely are enfolded.
We can still do this in this time of uncertainty because we trust in a certain God. So we can remain in the vine, Jesus, love the people and places where we live, work and serve, and be part of the body of Christ exactly where we are, wearing the “ALL PURPOSE GARMENT OF LOVE”.
Rupert & Sally ... See MoreSee Less
Thank you so much for your gracious and loving responses. We appreciate you all so much and will value our sharing together during these next few months as we continue to be a caring and serving church in our community in a fresh way. Rupert & Sally
There's still time to catch u b4 u go. It's obviously been a big decision but as they say life goes on. Best wishes and prayers for you 🙏 as u prepare for the move. Paul and Ann
You both will be missed 😢 And a big thank you from the whole of portobello x
Debbie Endersby x here it is x
Congratulations on your successful ministry.
You will Be missed wishing you well and much love on your journey xx
You will both be missed so much
Remembering my school motto "Lampads tradere nostrum est" I am sure that you both have passed on the torch to many people in the last 25 years. Very well done!
You will be missed. Thank you for your years of service. Do keep in touch!
We will miss you both so much! Wishing you both peace and happiness in the next season of your lives xx
Wishing you so much live and happiness ❤️
You both will be truly missed by the Parish and all of those who’s lives you have touched. Thank you and much love. Jean
Thank you Sally and Rupert....even though we don't live in Walton now, we will never forget how much you were there with us with our marriage, Maisie's beautiful Christening and have such fond memories of Portobello when we did the children's cupcake baking. You do such fabulous work in the community. You will be really missed. Wishing your lots of love for your next journey together. Lou and Rich Gatfield xxx
Rupert and Sal What I've taken away from the table is that having a faith is the most important part of living in God's love. Thank you for your hands on my journey 🙂
Thank you for all you have done, you will be missed xx
You will both be sorely missed. Wishing you all the happiness in the world for your next adventures xx
You will both be missed, had my 3 girls christened and got married, you were both lovely from the get go, x
Thankyou Rupert. You gave blessings to my brother. My mum on the last funeral before lockdown and pointed the angel above the church..Thankyou for christening my two daughters. I wish you and your wife happiness.love and peace
Your both will be miss so much your all lovely famliy
Love you both x
I must admit I was surprised to read your message, and then a mixture of feeling very sad as you will be sorely missed by your flock, but God is also leading you to do His work elsewhere, which is also wonderful. Despite rarely seeing you, you have always been in my thoughts and prayers Rupert and Sally. X
Dear Rupert and Sally, I must admit my heart sank when I read your message, but I mustn’t be selfish and think how We will really miss you both so much. While you’ve been here I know how we have grown, with your encouragement and love. I truly thank you so much. I wish you both well in the future and send you our blessings and love. With grateful thanks Carole and David xx
You will certainly be missed and I wish you both and family all the best luck in the world , you both did so much for the Portobello residents with fun day off to coast and all the fun raising tombola stalls and other stalls xx plus I can't thank enough 4 letting me use our beautiful church for my wedding in 1987 x but unfortunately didn't last long ? Good luck n may god carry on looking after u both x ❤❤ u where the best x Thank u 💖
My family has had connection with St Helens for a very long time. Both Sally and Rupert have helped me an jaelyn so many times over the years. you won't be forgotten x all the best for the future and thank you x
A few friends gathered at The Spring for tea to thank Betty Littlewood who is retiring as a volunteer after serving there two days a week for 23 years. She is only 93 but felt it was time to step down! She says she will miss "the company, the laughter and the badinage." Betty has been a wonderful servant over the years with her sprightly spirit and beautiful smile greeting everyone.
The photographs show her with Rose Gill and Mavis Easter helping tidy up before The Spring opened in 1997, celebrating the 15th anniversary, and receiving a bouquet of flowers from Cath Moxham and The Spring team. ... See MoreSee Less
Well done Betty! You don’t look a day over 93!!!!
What an absolute legend ❤️❤️❤️ xxxx
Congratulations Betty x
Betty and David were the first people we spoke to when we arrived at St Helens, and they hold a special place in our heart.
Congratulations 🎉 Betty 💗 xx
Amazing! Happy retirement Betty. Xx
Aww Betty you are looking so lovely ,a glamorous elegant Lady.enjoy your retirement ❤️❤️
Congratulations 🥳 Betty xx
Katie Andrews Mark Longbottom
I have shown this post to mum and she would like to thank everyone for the lovely messages , all at the spring for flowers and gifts and the delightful afternoon tea. She will miss working there but said it’s time to hang up her boots 😂 we will be popping in for a cuppa soon. Lots of love Betty and Karen. Xxxx
Tasawer has sent us this video of the food that has been bought and distributed at his church in Sialkhot, Pakistan with the money which we donated to help Christians who aren't being given food aid because of their faith. Thank you to everyone who contributed. ... See MoreSee Less
Good morning everyone
Yes we here yiu
Lovely music Ali x
Thanks to everyone involved. It is good to be able to share and keep in contact.
Hi all xx
Peace of the Lord be with you all ♥️
Morning all! So good to see you Rupert, hope everyone is safe and well 🧡
Good morning lovely St Helen's Congregation,
I cant hear the speaker very well... ??? It needs turning up
Morning lovely to hear Richard again. Unable to hear the reader x
Good morning everyone
It is a little quiet
Good morning everyone
Morning everyone 🧡
Amen. Thank you
Morning Richard enjoyed the service
Good morning everyone
Good morning everyone.