Weston minister retires after 8 years
PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 January 2015
THE minister of a popular Weston church has retired in order to return north to be closer to his family.
John Smith, aged 64, has stepped down from his role of minister of Milton Baptist Church.
He grew up in Liverpool and most of his family still live near there, so John and his wife Ruth, aged 50, are going to head back before John starts his new job as a life coach.
John and Ruth moved to Milton in 2006. He said: “They were looking for a senior minister here and it just seemed to fit.”
While John was minister, the church hired more staff such as a child and family worker as well as youth, administration, and pastoral workers.
He said: “It’s a team that’s growing, spreading the workload and making an impact on the community.
“Church isn’t all about us, it is about serving the community in which we have been placed.”
A number of other projects launched in recent years have brought more families to the church.
John said: “One of the things we were very excited about was Messy Church, part of a national movement.
“We invite families and their kids along on Saturdays about six times a year.
“We were really amazed, everyone got really excited about it. It was just buzzing, more than 100 people showed up for the first evening.
“It was a really exciting thing in a time when people reckon the church isn’t particularly popular; we were bucking trends.”
On Sundays, the 9am service is for more traditional church-goers, but at 10.30am there is an all-age family service with a live band.
John said: “We have had a lot of people come along and stick around, they were surprised at how vibrant and warm and welcoming it is, and how relevant the Christian faith is.”