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2019 Theme: 'All Yours, Lord!'

yours is the greatnessYours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour, and the majesty; for everything in heaven and on earth is yours. All things come from you and of your own do we give you.

(from Alternative Service Book, 1980)

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

We are, once again, at the beginning of a New Year and, as has been the case throughout my short time here so far, the year ahead seems somewhat shrouded in uncertainty. At a time of political turmoil here in France, and with the UK Government’s apparent inability to negotiate a workable deal for exit from the EU, we certainly live in “interesting times”!

However, if we look back at the past year, we can see wonderful signs of how God is working amongst us in this Chaplaincy. Our theme for last year was “Encouraging Growth” and across our church communities we have certainly seen evidence of both spiritual and structural growth. It has also been particularly pleasing that financially we have been able to turn a budgeted deficit into a significant surplus which helps to ensure the longer-term viability of the Chaplaincy.

However, we cannot afford to be complacent and so I feel that, in the coming year, we will need to work hard to consolidate the growth and to continue the pleasingly positive trend. But it is also important to remember that we don’t, and never will have to work alone. As St Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “The one who calls you is faithful” (1 Thess 5:24). If we continue to follow God’s calling to us, we will achieve amazing things.

The theme I have chosen for 2019 is “All Yours, Lord!”. This reflects the sentiment of the Offertory Prayer, shown above, that was first used in the old ASB communion service. It borrows words from King David’s prayer when he received gifts for the building of God’s Temple (1 Chronicles 29). It reminds us that all that we have, and all that we are, comes through the grace and generosity of God. We can give nothing that God has not given to us first.

Throughout the coming year, I look forward to exploring with you how we might live – individually and as a Chaplaincy – in a way that openly acknowledges that every aspect of our lives belongs to God and is infused with His greatness, power, glory, splendour and majesty.

May I wish you, those that you love and those for whom you pray a joyful and blessed year in 2019.

Yours, in Christ

Tony Lomas