Welcome to St. Nicks on Sunday 21st April (Easter 4)

APCM TALK 2024 St. Nicholas, Kingsway

For the last 18 months, I have been a part of St. Nicholas Church, Kingsway. And since Christmas 2023 I have been the full-time Lead Minister here at St. Nicks. With some responsibility in the local community with Schools and colleges apart of Didsbury.
Our faith community, our church, has always been a beacon of hope, love, and transformation for the people apart of this Church. But as a church community, we are very different to who we were in 1932 when the church was created and even more in 2020.
Over a year ago we were asked to prepare for a discernment process that might lead to the formation of a larger team ministry encompassing the parishes of  St Nicholas, Burnage; St Paul’s, Withington and St Chad’s, Ladybarn and St. James and Emmanuel, Didsbury. This has been a very long process    But despite our best endeavours, there has been nothing forthcoming from the Diocese of Manchester. 
This is frustrating for me because our planning for the future and vision is profoundly shaped by whether or not this team is formed. But it looks like this team will be formed by the end of the summer. This would enable us all to build better relationships with each other and profoundly advance the Kingdom of God in East Didsbury and Burnage more effectively.
However, it is precisely when we are faced with a degree of uncertainty that we come back to rest on the values that sustain us and the person of Christ who accompanies us on an uncertain road. 
And so today I would like to remind us of the importance of our mission of knowing, growing and sharing in the Love of Christ.
We are all interconnected, and our lives have a profound impact on those around us. It is our responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of their background, can find a place to belong and indeed that is what we are doing. 
.As a community of believers, we must also remember to encourage and support one another in our individual faith journeys. By sharing our stories, wisdom, and experiences, we can help each other grow stronger in faith and deepen our relationship with God.
As we continue to evolve, we must remain open to change, embracing new ideas, and welcoming diverse perspectives. This openness to growth not only strengthens our congregation but also helps us to become more Christ-like in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  I have been astounded by how much many of you do.

The Vision ahead is uncertain but I do want to tell you of one of my dreams in the year ahead.
I want to see 50 regular people at our Sunday service. I also would love to see between 5-10 regular young people and children. With services that are appropriate for the 21st Century yet keep with the ancient identity of the Church of England.
Living in this Parish for the last three years has given me a love for Kingsway and the community that works, lives and plays here.
I dream of St. Nicholas Church, Kingsway being a centre for creative arts. I want to see this space being used for Theatre, Conferences and Art installations. To help the community of south Manchester to have a space for creativity and belonging.
I desire to see a café that welcomes the elderly and the children and parents to play speak and have a warm inexpensive drink of tea and a cake. And a place for Social Action to help people in debt and continue our social action with Foodbank and crafts afternoons.
Finally, I want to see a space for young people to come and record songs, podcasts and poems that keep them inspired by the God of Creativity rather than getting addicted to drugs and knife crime.
This is a bold dream and I know some of you probably think, Revd Augustine, This is MAD. And I would say, you are right. It’s mad. But so is Jesus coming down to humble himself as a human and die and rise again. Faith is spelled RISK and I don’t want to live a faith that is domate but rather alive. The second-century saint Irenaeus said that “the glory of God is man [and woman] fully alive.” I love this idea and find that it always invites reflection. What does it mean to be fully alive? How well am I doing with that?
It is an honour to be the Lead Minister of St. Nicholas, Kingsway. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy and I’m sure you don’t always find me easy either, but we muddle along together, and we continue to listen and to watch. To listen for the still small voice of God drawing us deeper into his love and to watch that we might imitate what we see the Father doing. 
We are in an uncertain time with regard to the formation of a wider team and so encourage us to simply get on with the job of being God’s people today guided by the values,  until the path is clear. 
As we gather for this annual meeting, let us recommit ourselves to these values and strive to create a vibrant, loving, and transformative community that reflects the light of Christ.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share these thoughts with you today. May our shared journey at St. Nicholas Church, Kingsway be filled with moments of profound love and worship as we continue to walk hand in hand, united in faith and love. 
Revd Dr. Augustine Tanner-Ihm, Order of the Mustard Seed

Sunday 21st  April 
We look forward to welcoming our lead minister Dr. K. Augustine Tanner-Ihm  to preside and preach. Music will be provided by our MD and Organist, Ollie Mills, with readings and prayers from St.Nick’s Kingsway team.