Help - who stole 2004?? As I, Phil, write this, I’ve just finished putting together the December edition of St Matthew’s News, our parish magazine: selected extracts available online each month at
In the last couple of editions of GroomNews we’ve been concerned about the church roof. Regular visitors to St Matthew’s online (probably the best way to keep up to date with us) will know that’s now been fixed and Sue’s been able to concentrate more on the church’s spiritual life, with, amongst other things, the launch of a monthly prayer meeting. If you’re in the area on the first Tuesday of any month, please join us: 8pm in the Lady Chapel.
One thing we’re praying about is our church music. Our Director of Music left in the summer, we’ve yet to recruit a replacement, it’s a different organist every week and, with no one to lead the choir, it feels rather chaotic at times.
Please also pray for Sue’s work in the wider community, carrying out funerals (at least one a week on average) for people who mostly have little or no other church contact. Pray that she’ll have the emotional strength she needs to carry so much grief, as well as grace and wisdom to work with people at such difficult times.
Hip Hop Hooray!
Sue’s hips, that is, hopping along happily. A quick check-up in November and the consultant was very pleased: he doesn’t want to see her again for a couple of years: keep swimming, keep the weight off, but eat some chocolate to keep the winter coughs at bay! Sound advice.
We’re delighted to report that Phil’s brother, Anthony, has found a new wife, also named Sue, so there are now two Sue Grooms in the family to confuse the world. Anthony and Sue were married in the summer, with John, Anthony’s son, as the best man. John summed up how we all felt in saying how wonderful it was to see his father smiling and happy again after so much grief. Welcome aboard, Sue!
It’s been a good year for Almost. In the spring she went into dry dock for a long overdue hull scrape and repaint then in the autumn we set sail to Hemel Hempstead, where we stopped and repainted the cabin. Next year new signwriting should complete the job.
As the long winter nights draw in so do the mice and even Sam the dog doesn’t seem to scare them off! Please pray for Sister Mary Cuthbert and the rest of the SOLI community as they face the harshest and loneliest time of year. Sue and Sister keep in touch by phone so they’re not completely cut off.
The UK Christian Bookshops Directory is still growing, with an expanding library of book reviews, subsections for secondhand booksellers and Christian Cafés, and more and more visitors every month. If you’re buying Christian books or music, please support your local Christian bookshop, but if you’re buying anything else online, please support UKCBD by shopping at www.buy.at/ukcbd every purchase earns the site a commission that helps with development and maintenance costs. Thank you to everyone who has supported the project so far: please spread the word!
The Big Name Change
In February LBC changed its name to London School of Theology, and, courtesy of the LST IT dept, the bookshop’s website became an integrated part of the School’s site, complete with a searchable stock catalogue. Early in 2005 we should have an online payment system in place, using Paypal. Watch this space!
As always, this comes with our love, prayers and very best wishes for Christmas and the year ahead,
Phil & Sue
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