PCC Member of the Month: Henry Ibberson
This is the third of a series of ‘pen portraits’ aimed at raising the profile of individual members of St Chad’s Parochial Church Council in which they write about themselves and outline their aims for St Chad’s.
Knock on the door led to a full life and many friends
From Yorkshire – via Cumbria – to Pattingham is a long way, but we came anyway: and it is amazing that Liz and I have been here now for 22 years.
On arrival in 1996, knowing no-one, we answered a knock on the door found John and Kath Harrison carrying a cake of welcome, coupled with an invitation to join them at St Chad’s the following Sunday.
It didn’t take long to find out that here was a village with a lot going on, with a warm welcome wherever we turned. An invitation to become a Sidesman lead to other roles in due course – including the privilege of helping to lead our monthly Family Services – and an invitation to join the PCC.
Liz has been a member and I am now on my third stint and at one of its most challenging times, too, with the whole Anglican Church, as well as St Chad’s, at a crossroads.
I suspect everyone knows and is proud that the church is at the ‘centre’ of the village ( and importantly opposite two pubs! ). But how do we make the church the ‘hub’ of village life?
In his July article, Tony Taylor mentioned the exciting plans for careful and sensitive alterations within the church itself, in order to make better use of the fabulous building we have inherited, with more relevance to the needs and wishes of today’s families. The introduction of the audio-visual system has proved enormously successful and that on its own opens up a whole vista of new opportunities for us.
And by seeking to develop certain areas of the church, currently not used a great deal, for wider use the aim will be to fulfill other needs within the parish, involving more people using and getting to know the church, while retaining and nurturing everything central to it’s spiritual life.
Whichever way we look, change is in the air and we must be open to it and embrace it.
Our intention when coming here was to involve ourselves with the life of the village, to get to know it and to make new friends. We now have more friends dear to us here than at any other stage of our lives.
Something else too: no matter which village organization or activity we involve ourselves with, we find members of St Chad’s active within it or running it. Funny that.
Or is it so funny? Perhaps ‘church people’ are not so stuffy after all. Perhaps what they receive from being a member makes them more outgoing? Perhaps they enjoy using their personalities and skills to benefit the community?
Perhaps you might like to join them? Talk to someone living near you – they’ll probably be a member – or have a friend who is.