Northmoor Team joint service at All Saints Okehampton on Sunday 8th May 2016, with guest celebrant Bishop Robert of Exeter.

The balloon drop was part of our theme for the day ‘when he ascended on high he gave gifts to his people’ inspired by Eph 4:7-16.

On Sunday, 8 May, all the churches in the Northmoor Team joined together for a special service at All Saints Church in Okehampton.

We were really pleased that Bishop Robert, the Bishop of Exeter, came to be our celebrant and preacher for the first time since he moved to the Diocese. He had previously paid a visit to the town on the day his appointment was announced and so it was great to have him now be able to join us for a service.

The Northmoor Team doesn’t make the opportunity to all worship together very often and so there was a real party atmosphere and it was lovely to enjoy being together in this way.

Our theme was from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians Chapter 4 verses 7 – 16 ‘when he ascended on high he gave gifts to his people’ and we all felt in a real party mood. This was especially noticeable when over one hundred balloons floated down from the roof space during the last hymn. Each balloon had a Bible verse of encouragement attached to it and there was much excitement as we all bounced balloons around the church until everyone had received their special ‘gift from on high’. A big thanks to Maurie Webber for hours of prayerful and careful preparation of these beautifully presented ‘gifts’. And a special ‘thank you’ to Chris Just, churchwarden at All Saints, for his imaginative and practical skills in setting up the net to hold the balloons high up above the congregation and then releasing them so that they drifted down at the right time. We hope you enjoy the photos attached.

Andrew Wilson, organist at All Saints, includes composing in his list of gifts and we were privileged to enjoy a splendid choir performance of a magnificent anthem he had written especially for the occasion. The choir included members from church choirs across the Northmoor Team and their gift of increasing the pleasure of our worship by singing together was much appreciated.

The party then continued after the service with some fabulous cakes from all the churches – perhaps our next joint event should be a ‘bake off’ style competition!

The Bishop and church leaders were then provided the most amazing lunch by the newest church in the Northmoor Team led by our Pioneer Minister, Alison Duckers. ‘Home Hub’ is based in the new housing area of Okehampton and they have already found they have a significant ministry for hospitality and are certainly gifted in that area. The quality of the food and the presentation were brilliant and much enjoyed by all present. Thank you ‘Home Hub’.

The staff team worked together to prepare the service and Bishop Robert really appreciated, in particular, Revd David’s gifts in this capacity. And, of course, thank you to everyone who was able to come along from a wide area to join in. Here’s to the next time we do something together. And when that time comes, if our Team Rector, Steve Cooke, says ‘I’ve got an idea’ and it involves balloons I think we will be less nervous about going along with his suggestion! Thanks Steve – it was a brilliant idea. 


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