Vicar's letter

Clergy letter

Dear Friends,

Much has happened since my first letter written for the joint December/January issue of the magazine.  At the time of writing that, I was on the eve of my licensing and very much looking forward to starting my ministry amongst you on Advent Sunday.

I must express my deepest thanks to all of you for making my licensing service so special.  I am very aware that many people put in an enormous amount of time and energy into planning the service and refreshments afterwards.  I was very touched to receive a copy of the New Testament to mark the occasion and Nick and I were delighted with the incredibly generous Côte vouchers.  We all came home after the service feeling uplifted, supported and most importantly excited about getting to know you all and with you discerning God’s call within our community.  Indeed, Henry and Mary were so taken with the whole service that they wanted to go back to church the next day and do it all again!

It was obviously a busy start to my new ministry beginning as it did in Advent and then heading into Christmas.  That said, the many services and social occasions gave me a great opportunity to begin to get to know many of you and hopefully for you to get to know me.  It was also a really good time to meet the pupils and staff at our church school.  Their nativity play was wonderful.  Those who had lines spoke them clearly and with confidence and the music was outstanding.  Similarly, their end of term service in church was a great occasion and yet again the children in their readings and singing (including some beautiful solos) were extremely good.

With all of these great memories of Christmas still so fresh in our minds, it does feel quite surreal to already be thinking about Lent, but think we must because it is not far away - Ash Wednesday is February 14th.  Every Tuesday morning during Lent we will be holding a time of prayer in church – the dates and details are in this issue of the magazine.  Such a time of public prayer reminds us that during Lent we are called to follow Christ into the wilderness and once there enter into a time of prayer, reflection, self-examination and fasting so we can prepare ourselves to greet the risen Christ on Easter morning.  I hope that many of you will be able to join us for this time of prayer at this important time of year.

I send you all every blessing as we begin to make our Lenten journey together,