A New Chapter

Albert Bogle September 21, 2023 2 4
A New Chapter

Dear Friends

On the 31st of October I will be passing on the baton and retiring as the Minister of Sanctuary First and Reverend Ruth Kennedy will be taking on the role of leadership of the Sanctuary First Team from Sunday 1st October.

Doesn’t time pass quickly when you’re enjoying yourself? It’s almost eight years now since I left St Andrew’s Bo’ness to continue to pioneer the online ministry that we launched way back in 2008. Back then only a small number of people grasped the significance of a church being online. Indeed, Sanctuary First was one of the first online worshipping communities in the UK.

The pandemic of 2020 changed the way many people began to think about digital ministry. This change of understanding has allowed Sanctuary First over the past three years to become, for a growing number of people, their first port of call when seeking spiritual guidance and for others, we are their local congregation. The opportunity to grow and develop Sanctuary First as the Church of Scotland’s online worldwide presence has never been greater.

Some of you reading this were among the first contributors and supporters who helped me take on the task of offering a Daily Prayer and Bible reading every day of the year to those who for whatever reason, no longer attended church or had never done so before.

When we created the website, we had no idea that we were making history. Some 15 years later, or 5,480 prayers later, we are at a new and exciting place as a SCIO subsidiary of the Church of Scotland, with a vibrant and active community that can help us all in our Daily Walk with God. The website continues to develop, and we have our own mobile App and an engaged community of supporters on social media and beyond. We hold regular events in person, as well as online and have a wealth of podcasts, blogs, videos, and music all to support you in worship and prayer.

The time is now right for me to move on to do some more pioneering. Pioneering is a way of life for me, and I look forward to the next thing God has planned for my ministry.

This then for me, is the time to pass the baton to the next generation to lead the work and ministry of Sanctuary First so, I’m delighted to take this opportunity to introduce to you Rev Ruth Kennedy as my successor. Ruth comes with a wide experience of ministry, having been a pioneer minister to the under 40s working out of Dunblane Cathedral. I’m confident that all of you within the wider Sanctuary First Community will take her into your hearts. 

'One of the reasons I love life with Jesus is that He, the Author and Pioneer of our faith has written the very best adventures for us and has gone before us into what is the great unknown to us.  Although new ventures might be unknown to us, they are not to Him and as we live following Him, we know we are in safe hands and footsteps on all our adventures.

I believe Sanctuary First is at the forefront of adventures for the Church and for myself! It has an enormous capacity to relevantly reach everyone with the life-giving, transformational news about Jesus whilst at the same time disciple and nurture existing worshipping communities and equip the wider Church to be a witness of Jesus in the realm of digital ministry.

I feel it is an incredibly exciting time to join the Sanctuary First adventure bringing my colour of pioneering ministry to a wonderfully gifted and creative team at a time when God is doing a new thing in His Church.  Albert and the team have faithfully set solid foundation stones upon which to build and springboard off into new adventures; what an honour to be your new Sanctuary First Minister and Digital Ministries Advisor.'

Ruth Kennedy

I will remain around for the first part of October to ensure a smooth handover and to introduce Ruth to the Community. I am not disappearing completely from Sanctuary First as for the next year at least, I will remain a Trustee on the board.

I am so grateful for the loyalty and support you have shown to the work and outreach of this ever-growing ministry. As Sanctuary First continues to grow and flourish, I hope that you will continue to support the work and show Ruth the same level of support and trust you have placed in me. I hope that when called upon to contribute you can all help together to build the community of Sanctuary First as we step into this next chapter of the Sanctuary story!

With grateful thanks for your loyal support and friendship.


Watch Alberts Video Introducing Ruth Kennedy: Passing the Baton