Sunday 28 February Virtual Service
Good morning everyone
I have an important announcement to make this week which you will find in the last YouTube link along with the closing blessing. I have included what I say there in writing at the end of this week’s missive from me.
I hope Lent and lockdown continues to go well for you. This past week we have been given our first indication of a staged ending to the national lockdown. I was particularly encouraged by that mention of all restrictions potentially ending in June – which gives us all hope.
We continue to think of Steve at this time mourning the death of his wife Kath. Kath’s funeral service will be here at St Giles Church this Friday 5 March at 2.15pm. The hearse will make a slight detour up Breary Lane to call outside their former house on the way round to the Church. So if you wanted to pay your respects to Kath as part of the village community I understand that the hearse will be coming up Breary Lane at 5 minutes past 2 on Friday.
Our ecumenical Lent course “Get creative in Lent” continues on Thursday evenings. It is not too late to join in. Each session ‘stands alone’. We are making our way through the passion narrative in Mark’s Gospel. This week we will read chapter 12 where Jesus is teaching in the Temple, telling parables and answering difficult questions. Please join in our fellowship together, by simply clicking on the Zoom invite in this mailing.
On Shrove Tuesday I was interviewed for the post of vicar of the parish of Upper Wharfedale and Littondale in the Dales, where there are four Churches at Arncliffe, Hubberholme, Kettlewell and Conistone. I was offered the post and have now accepted it. I appreciate this news has come out of the blue. Applying for this new post was something of a test of calling. Bishop Paul knew about this and had agreed to it. I have a strong sense of calling to my new role and believe it to be the right move for me and indeed for us as a family. I feel very sad, however, at the thought of leaving St Giles’ folk and indeed the village of Bramhope. As a family we felt quickly at home and welcome here – and we have felt loved and appreciated throughout our time living in Bramhope.
Reflecting on ministry at St Giles’s, we have been through a lot together, particularly this past year. As we transition out of lockdown, I am looking forward to all that we will continue to share and achieve. It is a privilege to have been – and indeed to continue to serve – as your parish priest. But I’m not going just yet… I will be with you for Easter and beyond but imagine that we will be moving house in early June and that I will be licensed by Bishop Helen-Ann soon after that. I understand that the search for my successor will begin at that point.
Bishop Paul in his Lent reflections urges us to be kind this week, to ourselves and to others, in fulfilment of the commandment to “love your neighbour as yourself”. A benediction for the week ahead (by the singer-songwriter Maggi Dawn):
Sorrows may surround you;
sadness overwhelm you;
yet be confident of this:
that you shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
And now may this God,
who holds you in trouble,
tends you in sorrow,
and leads you to green pastures,
this three in one and one in three God,
bless you, and bless you, and bless you.
Yours as ever in Christ