We are now in the season of Advent, a time of waiting – waiting for Christmas, waiting for God’s kingdom to be established. The Church has traditionally seen Advent as a time of reflection and a time of waiting for God. Of course, for most of us it is a busy time of getting ready for Christmas, and that pushes out any chance of quiet waiting. December at St Mary’s and All Saints’ is a busy month too, fitting in special services and anticipating large congregations. We all need to make time to wait for God, especially this year when we are seeking a new Vicar.
Then January is a time for new beginnings. New Year Resolutions are usually forgotten by the time we go back to work. What we need is to put into practice the thoughts we had during our Advent waiting. New ideas, new energy and new commitment – if they are from God – will help our churches to be a stronger witness in our communities. This is something for each one of us, not just the wardens or the PCC or the retired clergy who are so generously stepping in and taking services.
We must also thank God for giving us the strength, the knowledge and his wisdom to guide us on our path to find a new Vicar. We do believe that God already knows who will be our next Vicar, and with His help and continuing prayer we will be led to the right person. We are holding an Open Meeting on Saturday 5th December at 2.00pm in the Barber Rooms, led by the Revd Charles Chadwick who is a Diocesan Parish Development Advisor. We have invited guests from the local area and businesses, and we would be delighted to welcome as many as possible from either congregation or community to come and listen and have a chat about the recruitment process.
Part of the role of being church warden is to ensure that services run smoothly and that cover is available to take services. Sometimes you have to think laterally. The Remembrance service was a first for St Mary’s as we had no organist. However, with the use of modern technology we had organ music played via a smart phone and Bluetooth speaker. As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” The only minor incident was when the wrong button was pressed, interrupting Paul Winchester mid flow with “Abide with me”.
With our prayers for all at St Mary’s and All Saints’ for a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Gill Hudson & Julie Bathe