Listen again to Ryan’s interview at TGIS in September 2016, telling us all about his faith journey.
Ryan’s latest report for January to May 2017
I just wanted to open with a little update that I have kept to myself and something that had a huge impact to myself and my family. I remember writing my last update at the start of February and just the week before on the 29th January my Grandad passed away from his battle with cancer. For me this is the first time I have lost someone who was close to us in the family. I was lucky enough to be able to have some time with him the day before on the Saturday and to just spend some time with him while he rested and slept. When he finally woke up and realised I was there he just said the word ‘Wonderful’ a word that whenever I speak it or someone says it to me, will always remind me of him.
So I was back at my flat when my mum phoned me with the news and I do want to say thank you to the few people who knew what was going on and were supporting me. I would also like to say that I hope you understand why I kept it to myself, I never want to have all of you worrying about me and that I do have an amazing support team who I do go to when I do need help. It was really nice to be able to do a reading at his funeral, create the PowerPoint that showed pictures from his life and just to be able to hear amazing stories about my Grandad. Some of you would have met my Grandad when he visited St. Mary’s and you would have seen how excited he was by the church and the faith he had. He was always proud of what I was doing and was always excited to hear about what I was doing next here at St. Mary’s and was really thankful for how God is moving in this place with the children and young people.
Thank you for taking the time to read that, I just wanted to let you all know why I may have not seemed myself for the past couple of months.
Let’s open with February 2017 and start off with that I celebrated my birthday, I am always reminded by certain individuals (you know who you are), how much I have grown and developed since I came here aged 20 to now being 22. I went and celebrated my birthday by playing in a tournament that included flying star wars ships on a board. I didn’t do very well but it was really enjoyable and had a really nice meal with my parents, my grandma and my sisters. I stayed with the family for the next couple of days because in early February was my grandads funeral, which was really nice and lot of his friends attended which was really nice to see. Then we come to the February half term and I am having a quiet week doing some admin jobs and preparing for the next term and the run up to Easter.
On the 24th February I managed to do something that I have been wanting to do for a while and that is go and visit Breakout, the bi-weekly children’s group run by volunteers from Lighthouse, on a Friday. Breakout is a great group which is attended by children whom I have met in various schools in Princes Risborough and wider. If you would like to know more about breakout and the work that I will be doing with the group, please do come and see me. We ended February with the Pancake Party run by Gill Wilkinson; this was brilliant and a lot of fun and thank you to Gill for the time she give in preparing and leading this event, even if it does me I sometimes the children steal my shoelaces because Gill has told them to!
March and that means that David would be back soon from his Sabbatical, the last two months have really been to quiet and I think the office team and myself were generally missing him. I spent most of March just doing my day to day jobs, visiting the schools that St. Mary’s gets to support and creating a town wide awareness of the work that St. Mary’s is doing. During the March I had a few tennis matches and for those who don’t know I play for Princes Risborough Lawn Tennis Club and I really do enjoy spending the evening and the weekends playing tennis. I happened to finish my first league in the play stats in rank 9 out of 80 players who had played in the league. Hopefully I can continue this form in the coming summer leagues I am playing in. I also spent the early weeks of March working on my essay for University, and by this time next year hopefully I would have graduated from University with a degree in Christian mission and ministry with a specific focus on children’s and youth work.
The last week of March was a great week with a lot of time spent in Princes Risborough Primary School. On the Tuesday I got to deliver an Easter assembly and then following on from that myself and David got to go and visit the reception and early years classes and talk with them about Baptisms and Weddings, this was great and we had a great time getting to know the children and staff who help in reception and early years. I also was able to go and deliver a fun and exciting Easter assembly at Longwick, talking about how Jesus who died on the cross for us bridges the gap over sin and helps us in our relationship with God. I am very happy to go through the theology with anyone who would like to. I was also invited to go an attend Roman day at Princes Risborough Primary School for years 3&4. I am still trying to acquire the picture of me all dressed up as a Roman Centurion so I can put it on the children’s and youth board in church. It was a great day and it was lovely to spend a day with the students and staff and all the costumes were amazing. I had the really hard decision at the end of the day to pick only a few of the best costumes and it was really hard decision to make. I look forward to the next Roman Day that I get to attend.
April opened up with the Easter Holidays and a time to prepare for Sunday because I was leading TGIS for Palm Sunday. I always enjoy leading services as you can just see God working in so many people, may that be during the worship, in the teaching or the prayer time. I thought as a bit of fun I was going to open the service with a confetti cannon which was great fun and I am sure I made a few of you jump. Look out for the next one because I will surely be doing it again. It was a good end to a long term where lots of things were going on. I spent the second week of half term with my parents down in Kent, got to play some football with some Dads from St. Stephen’s Church and had a good catch up with them in the pub afterwards. Manged to get my Mum and my sister Alice to come to London with me do some Pokemon catching with Pokemon Go.
On the 18th April it was nice to be able to run a safeguarding evening in church for all church volunteers and have some time having discussions about safeguarding. I really do believe that safeguarding is not just mine, or volunteers’ responsibility but everyone’s! If you have any questions about safeguarding or if you want to discuss something please do email me or come and have a chat with me on Sunday or anytime in the week.
I am going to finish April, with saying it was really good to be a part of the APCM evening and the evening when Bishop Steven Croft came to visit. I think it is going to be an exciting time for us at St. Mary’s, with David now Area Dean this can be a chance for St. Mary’s to be an example and a model church in all that we do, not just children’s and youth work. I was fully behind what David had planned for St. Mary’s and the Deanery and then what Bishop Steven has planned for the Diocese.
I am going to end this update here but in the next one I will hopefully be able to inform you about how Lighthouse went, festival week at St. Mary’s and the end of year assemblies we do with the schools.
Please pray for the schools that St. Mary’s Supports, Longwick Primary School, Princes Risborough Primary School and Princes Risborough Secondary School.
Pray for Lighthouse, for the leaders preparing activities to do and for Lizzie and Matt.
Pray for the Sunday groups that we run and all the volunteers who help and support those groups.
Pray for myself and for wisdom around making certain decisions.