Priest's Report for APCM 2019



As ever, our first thoughts should be to give thanks to God for all the many blessings of life, and to thank our hard-working and thoughtful brothers and sisters for all their efforts to ensure       St Catherine’s remains a happy and welcoming church, in which we can all rejoice and praise.

So – thank you Churchwardens, PCC, our Treasurer and Secretary, our willing caterers and cleaners, churchyard workers, flower arrangers, choir, prayers, bell-ringers, organists, sidespeople, vergers, wedding-sorters, preachers and worship leaders, rota-wrangler, those who handle the cash, those who set up the altar, our Open the Book-ers, people who open and close the church and fix the sound and CCTV, and everyone else who just gets on with whatever needs doing.  Brilliant team.

Major investments of time (and cash) this year have been preparing and leading the Experience Easter and Experience Christmas sessions for the Primary School.  They were each very intensive days which had a real impact on the children and the adults who came along.  Thank you, all those who worked so hard and took the risk of stepping out into the unknown in this way!  The School loved them, and they really welcome our input with Open the Book.  It’s such a pity the two private schools aren’t interested (yet!) in something like that, though St Margaret’s has come into church to explore, and invited me in to field the children’s Bible questions.

We had fewer weddings (a decline which has continued and is not just our findings), but many more funerals, including those of some dear members of our congregation.

We had a crowd of uniformed children into church for St George’s Day, followed by a very successful BBQ, and later hosted a Bears from the Belfry day for the Guides.  Both were great fun.  As has now become traditional, the Brownies asked for a Christingle (they love the inflatable orange suit).  The Crib Service this year was a Crib/Christingle: 65 attended, as against 33 the previous year, but it’s still not as popular as most villages’ crib services – anyone know why, please?

Remembrance this year was super-special, and there was lots of village involvement, especially with the Tommies Reunited Tea Party, which was great.  The ”There But Not There” figures were wonderful, and of course we can use them in future years.

We had the usual round of carol services, but instead of Carols in the Park we had Carols in the Kings Head – a much smaller number of people were much warmer, but we will have to think about what to do this year.

The service routine has continued, with our Lay Preachers taking the 3rd Sunday morning service with great success.  I wonder whether anyone else feels they may be being called to join that team?

We seem to have taken two steps forward, one step back over the alterations to the church – the collapse of the heating system has meant that has taken priority – but the sound system was much improved following advice, and that is a great relief.  The wall and gates to the churchyard extension look fine – thanks are due to Bob for his consistent hard work.

Next year – which may be my last in ministry, depending on the Bishop – I hope for more prayer, more Bible study, and even more joy in our serving the Lord in his parish of Gosfield.




Naturally you can always ask the Reverend Rose Braisby on 01245 361927, or at

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