Arrival of our new Vicar
At the end of March, the Bishop of Birmingham announced that the Revd Geoff Lanham has been appointed as the next vicar of the parish of St John the Baptist and SS Lawrence and Anne Knowle, also known as Knowle Parish Church, KPC.
Geoff’s institution as vicar at Knowle will take place in the church on Monday evening 9th September at 7.30pm. His first Sunday at KPC will be 15th September. We look forward to his arrival with us.
Geoff has been the vicar of Christ Church, Selly Park a thriving church in South Birmingham. He comes with nearly 30 years’ experience of ordained ministry. Following a curacy in Southborough Kent, Geoff held several roles at St John’s, Harborne helping it grow significantly ending as assistant vicar. From there he pioneered a new church in Birmingham city centre called B1 reflecting his life long passion for evangelism and mission. Since 2009 he has been vicar of Selly Park. Geoff has varied interests in theology, sport, mission, politics, global Christianity, has been involved in a range of local and national ministries and holds an M.Phil in International Relations and is nearing completion of a Masters degree in Christian Spirituality.
The Bishop said, ‘I am so pleased to see a minister of Geoff’s spiritual maturity and depth coming to lead Knowle into the next season of its growth and ministry. His gifts of wise leadership, passion for the gospel, love for people and sensitive reliance on the Holy Spirit, alongside his outstanding teaching and experience of a range of churches will be a blessing to Knowle and Birmingham.’
Geoff said, ‘We are delighted to accept the opportunity of leading Knowle Parish Church, but will be sad to leave the wonderfully caring and supportive congregation in Selly Park. The future for both church communities is exciting and we look forward to what God has in store’.
Geoff is married to Mary and they have 3 children who are now beyond school in various ways.
Key themes throughout this period
A big thank you to everyone who helped and came along to the consultation evenings on 3rd and 19th October about the appointment process for our new Vicar. Also, thanks to all those who took part in the two discernment days on 6th and 7th March.
Four main themes emerged from the consultation evenings in October, which were reflected in our KPC Parish Profile and remain at the centre of our church life and activities:
Unity: Although we are a church that enjoys a diversity of worship styles and services we are still a family and our unity and confidence in each other needs to grow further. We must be generous and humble enough to accept difference and look for opportunities to show God’s love by coming together more frequently.
Relevance: We have many connections into the community to demonstrate and speak of the reality and love of Jesus and this should be the ultimate focus of our activities. There was much written about the breadth of all that takes place but also a heavy emphasis upon focussing more on the lonely and vulnerable. Church should be inviting and some services comfortable and understandable to people who are not familiar with our customs and ways.
Growing in Faith: This is a time to deepen our prayer-life, individually and as a congregation, so that when people come into church they are aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst us. We must challenge ourselves to seek God and not be dependent upon our own strengths and resources. We must reach out to other churches and not be isolated.
Being Ready: God will bring us the person to lead when we are ready and not before. This is a time of listening, discernment and refinement so that we can deal with the challenges of an expanding village and be a beacon to the community. We must build our church on a firm foundation of Christ and invest in the things that are precious to Him.