Vicar's letter

Dear Friends,

What a busy and exciting few weeks it has been for our benefice and local community.

The licensing service for the Revd Canon Jean de Garis at St Francis was a wonderful occasion as we welcomed him to the benefice and celebrated his new ministry among us.  It was brilliant to see so many people there from our village, representing St Lawrence and our community and of course welcoming Jean and his family.  I am very grateful to those of you who played a part in the service and contributed food for the refreshments afterwards.

Only days later there were celebrations of another kind as Stratford Sub Castle resident, John Walsh became the 759th Mayor of Salisbury.  As I will act as his Chaplain for his Mayoral year, it was a privilege to attend the Mayor Making ceremony and then the next day preach at the Civic Service at St Thomas’.  This year will be extremely busy for John and Carrie as Mayor and Mayoress as they represent and promote the city both in the local area and much further afield.  There is much for them to do, particularly as Salisbury continues to recover from the events of last year.  I know that all of us will support them and wish them the very best for the year ahead.

Such a busy week reminded me once again of the important role that the Church of England plays in the local community.  So often we measure how well the Church either locally or nationally is doing by numbers of people who attend our services and that is an important.  Yet so much of the Church’s work is out in the community where it is often supporting people in any kind of need, working in schools, setting up community groups and supporting local civic life.  In these ways then, the Church is flourishing and reaching huge numbers of people with God’s love.  This is where the worldwide Church is called to be, because this is where the risen Christ is – out in the world, transforming lives and communities with the boundless love of God.

With many blessings,