An extract from the Rector's address to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. May 2000

"For me this has been a year to take stock and to learn.  Every major event, every festival has been first time round.  But as I begin to look to the future I am aware that we have major work to do.  There are no doubts that great challenges lie ahead for the Church and for Christian people everywhere.  Society has changed.  We are returning to an environment much like the first Christians experienced 2000 years ago.

Our world is secular, it is multi-faith, it is rapidly changing.  We have on our hands nothing less than a missionary task to win people for Christ.  But in this we are returning to our roots.

St Mary's Astbury was built for mission.  Its original builders clearly envisaged it to be a Church with a role like other great Minsters of Northern England such as York and Beverley.  The Church expanded, planted new congregations, and sought to convert and pastor souls over a vast area of South Cheshire.  Those new churches grew to become the now independent parishes all around us.  These days our responsibilities are mainly parochial though we still maintain a significant Civic and regional ministry through the special events we host and organise.

In coming years we must work out together how to rediscover the missionary role.

I look forward to sharing in that task with you.  It excites me.  I hope it excites you.  It will need to - for there will be much to do together.

Thank you for your support, thank you for your prayers, and thank you for your love and acceptance.  We're very happy to be here."


             Jeff Cuttell.

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