As we approach the summer at WPM, we will be going through a person of a little change! Exciting things are afoot for Nicola and Kate, our staff members, and the faces you see at prayers, on Sunday evenings and at chaplaincy are going to look a little different for the next few months…
As those of you who have been around for the last six month will know, Nicola is expecting a baby! This is enormously exciting news and we’re all very happy for her and her husband Andy as they get ready to welcome a little baby Turner into the world. It does mean, though, that Nicola will be heading off on maternity leave for from July 22nd, with plans to return in the new year, with the little one in tow. She won’t be disappearing completely from Vitalise life; she will, most likely, be around on the occasional Sunday (Vitalise is her and Andy’s church, after all!) and she is up for an occasional coffee. However, we have someone amazing lined up for her maternity cover so the Vitalise team leader role is in very safe hands – more on that person later!
It’s an exciting time for our other staff member, Kate too; Kate had been exploring a vocation to ordained ministry with Lichfield diocese and in June she learned that she had been recommended for training. She will be moving to Birmingham to attend theology college in September to start three years of training. In order to have time to sort herself out properly, however, she will be leaving at the beginning of August; her last day will be Sunday 5th August.
This begs the question: who will be taking over at WPM?
We are delighted to say that from September until the new year, Nicola’s role will be filled by Libby Leech who is, at present, Lichfield diocese’s 5 to 11s and Schools Enabler. We are lucky enough to be seconding her for a few months! Libby is already well known to some of us at WPM as she has been one of our volunteer chaplains for PERIOD OF TIME. She’s a lovely lady with a great sense of humour and we think she’s going to fit right in to life at Vitalise.
We know some in our community have been a little concerned about August, particularly the period between Kate leaving and Libby starting. We want to assure everyone that our Sunday night services will still be going on and that we’re continuing our chaplaincy work. Our chaplains will continue to be available every week at The Way Youth Zone and we’re running a Youth Alpha course at YMCA Badger Court over August, with help from Libby and Abbie, the new curate at St Peter’s Collegiate.
There will be no weekly prayers, Bible study or home group over the summer – Libby will start those back up again when she starts in September.
We’re incredibly grateful for all the offers of support we’ve been offered from our wider community, including local churches and local church leaders. Our plan is that for those three weeks in August, our Sunday nights will feature different ‘guest speakers,’ with individuals with links to our community coming to speak to us.
The plan for our August Sunday services looks like this:
Sunday 12th August: Vitalise will be led by Graham, who’s been a member of the Vitalise community for 3 years now, and Abbie, the aforementioned curate, who’ll be preaching.
Sunday 19th August and Sunday 26th August: Chris, the minister at Darlington Street, who pops in from time to time to lead communion, will be leading.
Sunday 2nd September: Libby starts!
Please pray for us as we step into this new chapter of life at Vitalise – for Nicola and Andy as they welcome a new addition to their family; for Kate as she starts at theology college; for Libby as she prepares to start as team leader; for all in our wider community who will be supporting us over the summer, and most importantly, for our community, that they would have courage and patience in what feel to some like a period of uncertainty and change.