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On Thursday, August 6th, the Feast of the Transfiguration, St Blasius hosted a special service of Holy Communion with the Commissioning of the Reverend Tony Richards as our new Local Minister.  The service was led by the Venerable Peter Sutton, the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight and the Reverend Canon David Isaac and was attended by a congregation of 95 including members of the local council, clergy from across the Island, members from other local churches and friends old and new.

The service was officiated with Peter Sutton’s normal dexterity and the congregation was treated to one of David Isaac’s relaxed and informative sermons, full of messages of hope for the future.  During the sermon David remarked upon a moving message that had been written into our visitors’ book.  It was as follows: God touched me.  As an atheist I was surprised. I feel honoured to be here.  Finally I see that God is real.  My faith in Him is stronger than ever before. Thank you.”  David said that this message confirmed the importance and relevance of all of the hard work of our church family in spreading the word of the gospel within our local community.

During the part of the service when Tony was actually commissioned as our Local Minister he pledged to continue to be faithful in leading the people of God in worship, in presiding at the Eucharist, in preaching the word and in ministering to the sick and the bereaved.  He also pledged to continue to be diligent in prayer, in reading Holy Scripture, and in all studies that will deepen his faith and fit him to bear witness to the truth of the gospel.  On our part the congregation pledged to support Tony by being faithful in reading, hearing and proclaiming God’s word; that our lives be framed according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we will strive to make his life known to all. We also pledged to support Tony by being faithful in public and private prayer and by coming together frequently to worship Almighty God and in sharing the tasks and responsibilities of parish life.

The Reverend Tony Richards’ Commissioning Service

The service was followed by refreshments and fellowship at which everyone enjoyed a magnificent cake baked by Joyce.

I think it is appropriate to thank a few individuals for an evening in which excellent organisation and coordination showed the church and its many willing volunteers at its very best.  Thank you to Barbara, ably assisted by Pat, Pam and Angela who sent out the invitations and managed the ever-changing list of attendees.  Thank you to Douglas who was calmness personified as he guided guests to their seats and kept his cool even when greeting people who had previously declined our invitation!  Thank you to Peter and Jenny who wore so many hats on the evening and made sure everyone was given a warm welcome to our church.  Thank you to Joyce for her wonderful cake.

Thank you to everyone (and there are many more) who helped make the evening so successful and memorable but thank you most of all to Tony Richards for volunteering to be our Local Minister for the next three years.

Bob Crawley, Churchwarden

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