This is roughly what I said last night at my induction as vicar of Holy Trinity, West Bromwich:
This is the part of the service where traditionally I announce the date of our next communion service.
Well, thanks to circumstances beyond our control, this coming Sunday there will be three communion services! At 9:00am, 10:30am and 6:30pm I invite you to come and join me to remember the cross of Christ and celebrate his resurrection.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say a few thank-yous.
Thanks, first, to all all the members of Holy Trinity who have made me and my family feel warmly welcomed into the church family. We are very grateful, especially, for all the hard work put in by many people, especially Colin and Chris, to get the vicarage ready for our move.
Our thanks too, to the members of St Luke’s, who were like a family to us. We are glad that God chose to move us only a few miles and we hope that there will be opportunities for gospel partnership in the years to come.
Thank you to Richard as my training incumbent, for his thoughtfulness and patience in providing me with guidance and advice and a good start to pastoral ministry.
Thanks to Amanda for her love and help, to our kids, for being so understanding about our move, Isha, I’m really proud of you and your brothers. Thanks to our parents who are here and who have also been a great support, my mum and Amanda’s mother and father, thank you.
As I start out at Holy Trinity in a new role, the Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians have taken on a greater significance for me.
He writes, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
As so, I asked on Thursday at the lent course, will you pray for me,
that I will always be cross centred in my ministry here, so that Holy Trinity church and the people of West Bromwich might know the wisdom of God and power of God in the good news of the Christ crucified for sin.
Perhaps, then, it is fitting that this coming Sunday we will have three opportunities to remember the cross together.