We seem to have seen the back of summer – it is definitely feeling more autumnal. The schools have been back for a couple of weeks, families have been dropping their young adults back at university or college and the nights are starting to draw in…..
This time of year can be a little depressing, so I think God gives us a glorious reminder through nature of God’s presence with us. The glory of autumnal colours, shiny conkers, crisp mornings, bonfire smoke and of course the excuse to wear nice big baggy jumpers that cover up a multitude of sins! I am being flippant, and of course we should always take depression and anxiety seriously, but in all our difficulties, God is with us – even if we find it hard to understand. Autumn also gives us a chance to think about the circle of life, as the seasons turn, we are reminded of how things have to die before they are brought back to life in the spring. There has to be a fallow time, where nature stores up energy for the next season of growth, so if you are feeling a bit low in this Autumn season please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, and we can together talk and think about how we weather the winter and fallow time, preparing for spring to return once again.
There is going to be a new face in the ministry team this autumn. I have been asked to work with a curate on placement, here in the Benefice, for about a year. Gail Phillip is a third year curate and will start with us on 1st October. So what is a curate? Well, all Church of England ministers are required to serve as a curate for between 3 and 4 years after they are ordained. Being a curate is the first part of continuing ministerial development. Gail will be with us to learn what ministering in a multi-parish rural Benefice is like and to share her skills and experience gained in the first 2 years since ordination at a large town church. Gail is an ordained priest so she will be working closely with me, leading worship, presiding at Holy Communion and sharing in the occasional offices (weddings, funerals and baptisms).
I am really looking forward to Gail’s arrival and I am sure that you will offer her the warm welcome that you offered to me 2 years ago. Gail will start worshipping with us on Sunday 7th October.
So as we prepare ourselves for the coming of winter, I pray that this autumn will be a time when the beauty of the season pierces the gloom and that you will be able to enjoy the crisp mornings and cosy evenings by your fireside.