A farewell from Tom and Ange

We said a fond farewell to two of our most active members, Tom and Ange Smith, in Sunday’s service, 19th May. There have been so many ministries which they have been part of; their transition to Leicester to be nearer their family affects many of us. It was a privilege to pray with them and “send them” as our representatives to Leicester.
Here is a prayerful reflection from them both as they go.

Tom lived in Chard from the age of 8, and in Milverton, near Taunton, during his teens. In 1966, when we’d been married 2 years, we moved from Kent to Creech St Michael, then Oake 1970-73, and our 3 children were born in Somerset. After 18 years in Bridgnorth we had 8 years in Milborne Port, in south Somerset. We lived in Maidstone for 8 years, and moved to Chard when Tom retired in 2007. We loved returning to Somerset, where we’ve now spent 27 years of our married life.

Lord, thank-you for your constant care for us, in all our journeys together over the last 55 years.

Lord, you have assigned our portion and cup; you have made our lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places; surely we have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 165, 6.

We are now about to leave Somerset, and move to Leicester. It will be wonderful to be near our family, and we look forward to living in a small retirement bungalow. We will join another strong church, where we will make many new friends. But as we have waited for the selling/buying process we’ve had extra time to appreciate this beautiful area. In recent weeks we have re-visited some of our favourite walks: Chard Nature Reserve, Chaffcombe Village, the ‘old railway’ footpath, Ham Hill, Snowdon Park, the Drift, Wayford Woods….

Lord, thank-you for the beauty and peace of the countryside, the glory of springtime: primroses, bluebells, the dazzling display of blossom on trees & hedges, bird song, new born lambs, misty, frosty mornings and warm sunshine.

It has been a delight to live so close to the Dorset & Devon coast: Burton Bradstock, West Bay, Langdon Hill, Charmouth, Stonebarrow Hill, Lyme Regis, Seaton, Salcombe Hill (Sidmouth)……

Lord, thank-you for fun at the seaside with the grandchildren, and the joy of sharing these places with all the friends who have come to stay in our lovely home. We praise You, Lord, for the glory of your creation – the crashing waves, the majestic cliffs, the golden sands, and glistening sea.

It has been a privilege and delight to be part of Forefront Community Church, where we have made so many special friends, in Life-groups, Coffee Morning, Preacher’s Group, Music & Pastoral Care Teams … Forefront has a tremendous commitment to mission, and during our time here we have seen many folk move out into mission, both in the UK and overseas. It’s been a joy to pray regularly for those who are supported by Forefront Church, & the monthly Mission Prayer Group has a special place in our hearts.

Lord, thank-you for the joy of being members of this lively, loving, warm-hearted church. Thank-you for the faithful ministry of the church leaders’ team. Thank-you for all the many servant-hearted folk who serve the community of Chard. Lord, continue to bless and use this church, and the whole Christian Community of the town. Thank-you too for fellowship & preaching opportunities with other churches: Chard Baptist, Rosemary Lane, Bishopswood Chapels, Steps Community Church, Milborne Port…..

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