top of page

Clergy Letter June 2024

Witness In Conversations

Last time I wrote the clergy newsletter, nearly a year ago, I shared my experience of being priested. A lot can happen in a year and several of us have experienced bereavement, and illness during this time. Yet through this difficult and often dark journey we can still witness to those we meet. This month St Peters celebrates 150 years of witnessing to the community in Stoke on Tern, through conversations and in actions of love.

During our Benefice Service at St Luke’s, Sambrook on 30th June I, Mike Alexander, am being licenced as a Waterways Chaplain. Waterways Chaplains come from a diversity of Christian traditions to provide a listening and supporting ministry to those who use our canals and rivers. This includes boaters, walkers, holiday makers, the homeless, anglers and canal side businesses. Their key values are ‘to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8).

Waterways ministry is pastorally proactive and spiritually reactive as we engage with and ‘come alongside’ people both spiritually and practically. It all starts with a conversation. Many people value having someone who has the time to listen to them and who is willing to talk through any issues they may have. During these conversations we are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In a world and time when fewer come to church and Christian faith is not even on their radar, the role of a chaplain is even more critical than ever, being outside the framework of ‘the normal church’. However, you do not have to be a chaplain to have a conversation with those you meet whilst going about your everyday business. If you are open to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, you never know how God will use it. Two of the disciples had a conversation with a stranger on the

road to Emmaus. By the end ‘their eyes were opened, and they recognised Jesus’ (Luke 24:31).

Let us pray for a fresh gift of the Holy Spirit, that will enable us to witness in our conversations, by sharing our stories of God’s grace and love in our lives. People need hope, and so do we.

Rev Chris and Mike Alexander



bottom of page