Mission priority for new pastor
The new Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Community Church in Sheringham, Norfolk has explained the importance of engaging with the community
Ian Savory (pictured, right) has taken up the post at Lighthouse following the retirement of Bryan Pickard (pictured, left), who was pastor at the church for six years. Bryan steered the congregation through a major building project, resulting in the establishment of Lighthouse Community Church in 2013.
As he settles into the town with wife Sue, Ian explained he is very keen to build on the excellent work that has already been achieved by Lighthouse in building links with the community.
'Lighthouse seems to be held in high regard in the town,' he said, 'and I am grateful to God for that – our first priority has to be mission.
'The building is amazing, and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t been there to come along and sample the coffee, but it is not WHO we are. We must get involved with our community as people – it is not enough just to expect them to come into our lovely building.'
Ian was senior pastor at Kingsgate Community Church in Great Yarmouth, and for many years before that pastor at Oak Grove Chapel in Norwich. He has memories of coming to Sheringham as a child, and also camping with his family at nearby Kelling Heath.
'We are thrilled to be here,' he said, 'And I’m committed to seeing what God wants to do in North Norfolk. Even our kids, who are now grown up and married, still come back to Sheringham for their fish and chips!'
The links with the Sheringham church go back at least ten years, and he has returned on many occasions to lead meetings, services and training events. Ian and Sue have many friends in the town, including Lighthouse youth pastor, Peter Skivington, who was youth worker at Oak Grove while Ian was there.
Ian said that the church enjoys strong links with the other churches in Sheringham, and this has been helped by the BeachLife youth outreach, where folk from different churches have worked together in a climate of mutual respect.
He is also Police Chaplain for North Norfolk, a role which he finds rewarding, and very useful for forming bonds with the local community.
'Churches have a vital role to play in modern society where there is a huge amount of loneliness,' Ian said, 'We can help to build community, drawing different ages together, which is really important.'
Ian’s induction service will be at 3pm on Saturday March 5.