After 10 years of ministry in St Peter’s as Lay Reader, we said farewell and a grateful thank you to Janet McKinnell for all she has contributed to St Peter’s over the past 10 years. She is returning to her main focus of ministry in mentoring Lay Readers over the Diocese of Edinburgh.
In the June issue of News & Views, our Associate Priest, Rev Sue Whitehouse wrote:
Our Pentecost Sunday service this year has not only been arranged under unusual circumstances but it is also the time when we say ‘goodbye’ to our Lay Reader, Janet McKinnell. The situation is quite different from Pentecost ten years ago when Janet first came to St Peter’s. We hope that she will return sometime for a service when we can express our appreciation in reality rather than virtually!
Over the years Janet has given unstintingly of her time, effort and self to the life and worship of St Peter’s. Many of us have appreciated her listening ear, wise advice and heart-felt, prayerful concern. In her role as Reader she has contributed to the leading of Sunday worship and to preaching. For special occasions we have responded to her creative input and most memorably, I think, to her imaginative prayer stations which people have found very helpful. We have also benefitted greatly from the service booklets she has produced. These have enabled services to flow smoothly and have allowed us to concentrate on worship rather than a range of different sheets!
Janet has been very faithful in her visiting of those who are ill or housebound and taking Communion to them. She initiated the monthly Tuesday afternoon services where lifts could be arranged for those unable to get to church on Sunday. The annual Strawberry Teas, which Janet has meticulously organised, are a great opportunity for longstanding friends from St Peter’s to meet up.
Janet has been very supportive in encouraging and developing other people in their ministries. In particular she has spent time with those leading intercessions. She has organised group training sessions and giving people confidence to write their own prayers and this has given depth and variety to our worship.
In church life, as elsewhere, there are always those routine, time-consuming tasks to be done. For some years Janet has produced our monthly magazine, filled in the congregational diocesan returns and, even this last month, has been working on GDPR, which has been a marathon task for all churches.
Many people have acknowledged that without Janet the worship and pastoral routines of St Peter’s would not have run as smoothly as they did during the vacancy. We are very grateful to her for that, and also for all that she did before. She has been a very good colleague and I have enjoyed working with her.
Janet, thank you for everything. We wish you God speed and blessing as you move on to new ministries. You will be greatly missed and we hope that before too long we shall be able to meet up again to say a ‘proper’ farewell.
The day before (Saturday), the children at Children’s Church made and decorated some Brownies for Janet, which she could enjoy virtually!