Vicar's Monthly Letter
Vicar's letter - February 2020
At the time of writing we are in the season of Epiphany, that post Christmas season in which we remember all the ‘in between’ things that happened to Christ prior to the start of his ministry; the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Christ and the Presentation of Christ in the temple (Candlemass). It is an ‘in between’ sort of time as we recover from the excess of Christmas and await the beginning of Lent and Easter. As Christians we are always encouraged to look back and reflect on things and we are also a people who are looking forward with hope to the future. But, lets not forget that we are also called to live in the present, in a sort of ‘in between’ time.
Looking back and reflecting on Advent and Christmas I am always amazed at how many people come to join in worship over the season. We are truly blessed to have so many people join us who don’t come on a regular basis. I hope that people find a warm welcome in our churches and I’m sure this is one of the reasons people still come.
One of the most notable services we had in Advent was the usually fairly quiet second Sunday of Advent, when the Benefice gathered in Much Cowarne for the re-licencing of Rev’d Richard Allaway as an Associate Priest. The Rt Rev’d Alistair Magowan, Bishop of Ludlow presided at the join Eucharist at which around 80 people attended. I think that’s a record attendance for a benefice service! It was a good opportunity to come together and I am delighted that Richard has chosen to stay with us now he has finished his training and completed his curacy.
Looking forward to Lent, in a change to our usual pattern of Lent talks, I am planning to lead a 6 week study course looking at the Eucharist. The course is from the Pilgrim series of books and one of the main contributors is the new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell. The course will benefit anyone who wants to engage more deeply with the Eucharist and will help us all grow and deepen our faith. The course begins on Wednesday 4th March in Bishops Frome Village Centre at 7.30pm.
As I’ve said, it’s good to look back and reflect and it’s good to have something to look forward to, but don’t forget that we are called to live in the present. It’s only in the present that we can truly experience God. Looking back and noticing where God was in the past is great, and thinking about where we may encounter him in the future is also fine, but noticing God’s presence with us in the here and now in the ‘in between’ times – well that’s something else!