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richard's letter :: june 2013

study leave, counting and community building

three months On Monday (3rd June) I begin an unusual three months which will see me on a period of Study Leave granted by Bishop Paul, rather than acting as Vicar of All Souls. During these weeks, I get the chance to step back from the normal pattern of life and work to engage once again with theological study, but also to get some extra time to pray and think as well as having some extra holiday with my family. So, in June, July and August, I wont be acting as Vicar : no preaching, office-work, emails or doing assemblies or the like. Calum will be stepping into my duties, with Krista continuing to head up our Operations Team in the office. Im hugely grateful to them for taking on the extra work that will entail and Im grateful to All Souls, in advance, for allowing me to step away for a short time. Im not of course, moving away for three months Ill be based at home and we will still be coming to All Souls as a family. Ill see some fellow parents rather more often than normal in the Blue School playground and therell plenty of other opportunities to catch up socially this side of September. In the meantime I intend to blog ( and write up studies online (at - though theres nothing there yet!), and I will be active on facebook and twitter (@richardfrank) - so if youd like to keep up with what Im doing, there are plenty of ways to do so. Im praying that this will be a refreshing and energizing time for me and that youll see the effects come the autumn! In the meantime, I know that the team here will continue to appreciate your support and prayers for them.

Count Me In
Before I head off, I wanted to give a big thank you to those of you (around 100 people in total) who took the time to fill in our Count Me In response - you can still do so online. Its made a huge difference to how we plan for our September teams, begin to re-shape our small groups and think about how we move forward most effectively as a church. Ive been particularly encouraged by the fantastic response to ask people to consider setting up a regular pattern of giving financially to All Souls, or to increase what we currently give. If youve not yet thought about it - or if youve pledge, but not yet acted on it - nows the time to do so. Thank you!

Changes Afoot
I may be on Study Leave between now and September, but that certainly doesnt mean that everything stops Calum and others are going to be preaching through some of Jesus I Am statements in the Gospel of John - a series that will take us right through to the end of August. Were working on rolling out a brand new way of connecting with one another, small groups and teams we belong to. Called Church Community Builder (CCB), its already helping us organise things like PCC and the video projector rota, but theres plenty to come - and were excited at the ways it can help all of us connect. Behind the scenes, Ant Kelly - a member of All Souls and a web-designer - is working on a complete redesign of the church website. Were not too far away from being ready for that! Fi Budden is continuing to help us plan for the future of our serving the Ivybridge Communities. Ive been talking with Karl & Kate Burgess about exciting plans for youth work in the Autumn Term and beyond. So, thank you for your commitment to, involvement in and prayer for All Souls and the work Gods called us to do here. See you soon!