By the time you are reading this at the start of August, work inside St John the Baptist should have finished and I would hope the path has also been completed. Work on the outside of the church could still be ongoing with scaffolding up on the tower as the clock is re-gilded and some structural repairs to the pinnacles completed.
It has been fascinating to watch the inside of the church take shape over the last few months. While the basic shape inside church has not changed, there seems to be a freshness and lightness. Removing the old heating pipes and installing ramps makes it much more easy to move around the church. The font stands out much better by the south entrance. I hope many of you will be excited at seeing inside so please come and join us - we should be back worshiping in church from 23rd August.
Although we should be back worshiping in church from mid-august, the official reopening will take place the weekend of 12th and 13th September. The Summer Garden Party which normally takes place in June will now take place on the Saturday 12th September at 2pm. This will be a great time to look around what has been done inside church. If there is good weather, so the garden party stalls will be outside, there will be organised tours inside church.
The messy church gazebo will also be there, so you can come and try out messy church to see if you would like to come along when our monthly saturday morning messy church starts in October.
Then on Sunday 13th September, a service of rededication will take place at 10:30am followed by a faith lunch. We are inviting children to come dressed as characters from history. You could come as a King, a Queen, a knight, a soldier, a farmer, blacksmith or anyone else - so use your imagination.
We will be joined for our weekend celebrations on saturday by Bishop Geoff from Lancaster and on Sunday by the Bishop Peter from Doncaster.
They will be part of the Crossroads Mission. What is this you may ask? The Archbishop of York is bringing a team of 21 bishops to engage in four days of mission across Sheffield Diocese 10-13 September 2015. Bishop Steven comments:
‘As far as I know, it’s the first time so many bishops have worked together in mission in this way in a single diocese in the long history of the Church of England’
The vision for the mission came from a retreat of bishops on Lindisfarne, that great Celtic centre from which the gospel spread across the North of England. The bishops sensed a call from God to evangelise afresh in this generation, many of whom have very little knowledge of the Christian message. Specifically they decided to offer to work together to serve one diocese a year in a short concentrated period of evangelistic mission. Sheffield is the first diocese to host such a mission.
So please come and bring people with you to these two days - we want as many people as possible to be part of our celebrations.