Autumn may seem like a strange time to celebrate new beginnings. The fields have been harvested and appear to be laying fallow, the nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping. A season, as Keats would have it, of mists and mellow fruitfulness. But psychologists tell us that autumn is actually a really good time to make changes, to start something new, to have an autumn resolution rather than a new year’s resolution. We are conditioned from an early age to attune our lives to the school timetable, September comes with the start of the school year, a new beginning, a new start.
This year, it is particularly true for me, a new start as your Rector in the Draycote Group, so I’d like to share just a little of my journey that has brought me to this new start. As I recently said to the Church Wardens, I have been appointed to work alongside the team that have done such sterling work during the interregnum, not to take over.
My post is one that is called ‘House for Duty’, which means that I am non-stipendiary (not paid) but live in a house that is owned by the Diocese, and in return offer 3 days a week ‘duty’. I recently completed my curacy (first post after ordination) in the Stourdene Benefice, which is a multi-parish rural Benefice between Stratford upon Avon and Shipston on Stour, after being ordained in 2013 in Coventry Cathedral.
Prior to ordination I was very involved in my ‘sending church’, Holy Trinity in Hatton, working closely with the Rector, leading informal worship and working with the children in church and at the local Church of England School.
Being a priest hadn’t always been an ambition but our God is a God of surprises, and surprised me with a call to ordination, in what was, if not the autumn of my life, certainly the late summer. So here I am, looking forward to this new start, looking forward to making new friends, sharing my story and working with you to help to build the Kingdom of God in this beautiful part of the world.
With love and prayers