In the summer of 2007, I noticed a modest advert in the Church Times from a church on the edge of Portsmouth which was looking for a new Vicar. I wondered whether this might be the place where God was calling me to serve him and, having done a little bit of research, I decided to apply for the post. After an interview with Archdeacon Trevor, the churchwardens (Sylvia Fisher and Rosemary Filtness) and a representative of Simeon’s Trustees, I was appointed. I took up the post on 25th October.
It seems amazing to think that Jacqui and I arrived here with one son just starting university, one at college and one at school. Ten years later, they are all in employment, spread across the country, and we have two grandchildren. Although it’s only ten years, we seem to have shifted up a generation!
At Christ Church there have been a lot of visible changes over the last decade. We have added the screen and projector, the prayer area, the new children’s area, the kitchen area, the flower preparation area, the new entrance and the long-awaited toilets.
A number of people have left us, many because they have made the final journey. It has been a privilege for me to minister at the funerals of so many faithful followers of Jesus Christ. On the other hand we have welcomed many new members to our church family, including many who have been born into it!
The most important changes have been less visible. As we have sought God’s way for our church I have seen many grow in their faith and in the way that they serve God, and some have come to a faith in Christ for the first time. That’s why I came here ten years ago; to journey alongside people in the good times and the hard times, seeking to make sense of life in the light of God’s love for us, and to help others to experience that love for themselves.
Looking back is good. We should thank God for all that he has done in the past. But we should not spend too much time in the past, for God calls us on. Our work for him is never over, never complete. We must continue to seek him and work out how he wants us to share his love in the next decade and beyond.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures for ever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Interim Minister, St Thomas à Becket, Warblington with St James, Emsworth
Joint Area Dean, Havant
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC