Believe it or not it will 7 years and 4 months since my licensing as Priest in Charge when I celebrate our last communion on Sunday 8th January at the joint service at St Michael & All Angels.
How time has flown! I remember being told by Canon Robin Gamble, who introduced me on that first evening, 9th Sept ‘9, that nothing much would be accomplished in the first year but a lot would be in the following five years. So forgive me for looking back to see what God has done over that time.
When one is in the thick of it, it is difficult to see what progress has been made. Often others, especially outsiders, see it before we do. So, it’s good to stand back and view the past. As I look back what has happened is not what I expected! To be honest, I’m not certain what I expected! So, what has happened?
We’ve repaired St James’ roof! Yea I hear everyone cry! But that is wonderful news and a great blessing to us from God.
On the spiritual side God, has been very generous to us. We are debt free and pay our share – yes it might be tough at times but we have continued to learn that He will supply our needs. There have been confirmations and baptisms and we’ve seen numbers slowly increase.
The relationships with Lees Primary has grown so that they regard St James’ as their church.
Sadly, we’ve said goodbye to many dear saints who’ve laboured in God’s vineyard. Our great hope, and certainty, is that one day we shall be reunited with them as Jesus returns to this world.
So what of the future? An interregnum can be feared or welcomed. My prayer is that you embrace the later allowing all members to carry out their vocation under the guiding power of the Holy Spirit. I look forward to hearing of the exciting things happening in the name of our Saviour.
During my study leave I was reminded time and time again that the Church of England is a lay church. So, if the church is to be fully functional all members must play an active part as God has given each of us a vocation. For some it might be spiritual such as leading intercessions, or reading the lesson, or pastoral visiting, or running Toddler Praise and or Good Friday Church. For others in administration, finance, running shops, raising funds, communicating, serving refreshments – such as Soup and Sandwiches, keeping the church clean, helping folk learn a new language etc. Each is equally valuable before God. It thrills me that St James’ is a church that understands this and more importantly does it.
For myself, I am grateful for the way you have supported me in so many different ways. For Eileen and me, it is a time of goodbyes and sadness as we will miss the friendships, the village, the trains, but not the weather! We will always look back at our time here with a sense of the privilege God has given us in being with you. Now He is moving us on; again, in a direction that neither of us anticipated. But then you cannot shut God up in a box! Isn’t He exciting!
So thank you and goodbye. Our prayer is that God will richly bless you as you move forward. Finally, you can trust in God as He knows exactly what he is doing!
The Rector’s Last Service
Peter’s last service will be on the 8th January 2016 at St Michael & All Angels starting at 10:45am. It is a joint Holy Communion service for the whole of the United Benefice of Haworth & Cross Roads. On the evening of the 24th January he will be installed as Minister of the Eldwick Church. Details will be available nearer the time.
The Interregnum ~ Praying Our Way Through it!
Interregnum literally means “between the kings” – in church terms it means the period between the incumbents. Effectively it starts the day after Peter’s last service, officially it starts on 23rd, the day before Peter is welcomed at Eldwick.
Section 11 & 12 is the defined process to choose the new incumbent. Peter gave permission to start the process before formally leaving; and the two PCCs have got on with it. This will lead to a job description and profile being created that forms the basis of the recruitment process.
So please pray for:
- the church wardens, the ministry team as they lead during the interregnum;
- the two PCCs as they prepare the parish profiles;
- Bishop Toby and Archdeacon Andy as they consider how the needs can best be met;
- the creation of the job description, profile and the advertising;
- the candidates who will be interested;
- the interview process;
- the new Incumbent that God will start to prepare his or her heart and mind.