Vicar's letter

Clergy letter

Dear Friends,

At the time of writing this letter, it is only a few days short of a year since I was licensed as the Associate Priest at Stratford Sub Castle.  I honestly do not know where the last year has gone, but I do know that myself, Nick, Henry and Mary have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you all and I feel very privileged to be ministering to such a welcoming and special village community.  

During this year, a huge amount has happened.  Brexit continues to dominate our headlines with the sense that – whatever your views on it – nobody quite knows how it will work out.  The nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury in March, and which then claimed the life of Dawn Sturgess in the summer was deeply shocking and put our home on the international map for all the wrong reasons.  As Salisbury continues to emerge from such a difficult time, I continue to be so impressed by the local response and also the positivity that is so evident amongst those of us who live and work in and around Salisbury.  If anything, what was designed to harm and unsettle has brought people together in a renewed determination to care for their city in the hope that it will once again flourish.  And then finally, our Remembrance Sunday service which took place exactly 100 years to the day since the First World War ended was a solemn, moving reminder of how our community and our nation unites to remember people just like you and me whose lives were changed forever by that war.              

As 2018 draws to a close there is surely much for us to be thankful for and reflect on.  As we do so, we enter into the season of Advent – the time of preparing for the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.  This is the time when we are waiting to catch that first glimpse of Christ’s light coming into this world to transform it with God’s love and peace.  Whatever this year has brought us, that little light that emerges from the stable on Christmas morning promises us that God is with us.  Not a God who is distant or aloof, but walking with us, leading us forward in times of joy and sorrow, celebration and remembrance, as life begins and as life draws to a close.  Let us then, as we wait to greet the light of the Christ-child on Christmas morning, once again place our hope and lives into the hands of God – the God who, through the Christ-child is always with us.

I send you and all those you love every blessing for a holy Advent and a very happy Christmas.