Dear sisters and brothers,
As I write I find myself surrounded by boxes and packing paper, having now moved into the Rectory. One of the first things I have done is to unpack and sort out all of my Church books. In my former study I knew where each and every one of them lived. As I rummage through the boxes to find that last missing book, and as I try to organise the shelves, a new order is appearing, all familiar to me, and yet in a new way.
We all find ourselves in a time of transition as we mark St Wilfrid’s Patronal Festival. We live in a world opening up again after the trauma of the last 18 months, and we also look to the next chapter of our life together here in this parish.
As we settle into a new rhythm of life we begin the process of taking stock of the past, discerning the good, and also acknowledging where there might be need to think differently. This is an exciting time for us all in the life of the Church, when we can think anew what it means to be people of the Parish of St Wilfrid, how we can be the People of God in this place.
I ask three things of you as we begin to look to the future.
I give thanks for all you have done during the time of interregnum, thanking especially Arthur and Derek for caring for the Parish during the most trying of times. As we move on I urge you all to consider what talents and resources you can give as we seek to make God’s Kingdom present in this place. What has God placed within your heart?
As we begin anew, and as I learn the life of the Parish, there will come a time when by accident I will do something which might hurt you. I ask your forgiveness. More than anything I desire to love and nurture you all in your life and in your faith. But I am also human. I will make mistakes. But please remember we are all on the same journey of faith, seeking the divine.
If we do not pray, we will not be putting our trust and hope in the one who provides for us all, the one who wants to hear our prayer, the one who wants us to flourish in the fullness of life. We need to pray as we consider the future, we need to pray as we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our thoughts and in our deeds. I need your prayers as I begin my ministry among you, and I will pray for you each day, as we begin our life together.
Happy Feast to you all!