Not the vicar’s letter – September, 2023

Well, here we are in September already – doesn’t seem very long ago we were celebrating Easter and looking forward to summer and holidays. I hope you have all had a good summer in spite of the rain, some time away on holiday to refresh and revitalise you.

September begins a new year and new term in school and I still think in “terms” for the church. Our children begin new things in September, perhaps moving to secondary (the big) school, or beginning school Year 1, tiny ones starting nursery and everyone moving up a class. So where is church moving up to as we start a new term.

This term is the busiest term in church as in school. Family Services and Messy church start up afresh after the summer break. We are still in a special year at St Mikes celebrating 160 years for the church building so there is the concert by Fauls Singers on Friday 29 September followed on the Sunday with Eucharist when Canon William will preach – this is a benefice service. Then of course are the Harvest Services, Remembrance Services and All Souls service. Advent Sunday is December 3rd and Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year.

Advent as I’m sure you know is a season like Lent, time to reflect and if needed to change which is what repentance is all about – changing those things that are in any way harming us or any one else but especially harming our relationship with God. During Lent some of us worked through a Lent course together with the Methodist church in Welshampton and it would be good to do something similar in Advent. Do let me know if you would be interested in doing an Advent group for prayer and reflection on the Advent bible passages, please, let me know and I will arrange it.   

When the advert went out for recruiting a new Shepherd for our Benefice at the end of July a Benefice Prayer time was started going round the churches week by week spending up to an hour praying for God to send to us the right person to be our Vicar but also praying for all those we knew needed God’s healing or comforting touch. By the time you read this the Shortlisting day may have happened due to be on 5 September, if of course there are any applicants to shortlist. The interviews will be held on the 27th and 28th of this month if needed. I am trying not to be pessimistic about all this, we have been praying and God listens to our prayers and answers them all as is best for us. So by January we should have a new Shepherd, priest and leader for our Benefice. The Benefice prayers will continue to aid and support this process. If you would like to join we meet on Thursday mornings at 11.00, this month it will be Colemere on the 7th, Petton on the 14th and Welshampton on the 21st, as the interviews are on the 28th we will have to think about what we do that day.

So, God willing, this is where the church is moving to, a new beginning, with a new shepherd which inevitably means change which is to be embraced, facilitated and engaged with for the benefit of everyone in our Benefice. Bear in mind that the Anglican Church, because it is the nation’s church and has a building in every parish, is there for the people who don’t go to church as much or even more than for those who do go faithfully every Sunday.

May God send us a good shepherd for his flock here.

Love and blessing

Rev Anne (retired)

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