The summer holidays are upon us, and it is that bittersweet time of year that is marked by transitions. Children move up a class at school or change from primary to secondary school. Young adults look forward to university or the world of work and graduation celebrations take place marking the end of that phase of education and the transition into the next phase of life. This summer will be a time of transition for me too.
You may have already heard the news that I am leaving the Draycote Benefice at the end of September. It has been a very difficult decision for me to make as I have really enjoyed being your Rector and getting to know this beautiful area and such a lot of really lovely people. I felt that it might be helpful for you to know why I have decided that it is time for me to move on.
When I was appointed as Rector, it was on a non-stipendiary (unpaid) House for Duty basis. That meant that I was given a house to occupy in exchange for 3 days a week ‘duty’. Unfortunately, despite all the best efforts of the Church Wardens and the PCCs, I have been working much more than my contracted hours. Part of the problem has been that I have found it really difficult to put in firm boundaries to protect my non-working time or to prioritise mine and my family’s needs over those of the parishes and as a consequence have been consistently overworking. A situation that isn’t healthy for any of us, so it is time for me to take a break.
My plans – and it is said that if you want to give God a laugh you tell God your plans – are to leave the Benefice at the end of September and then take some time out to listen to God and to see where God wants me to minister next. I do believe that God has lots more ministry for me to do, so I shall just have to wait and trust in the Lord and see what God’s plans for my life are.
It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to get to know so many wonderful people and to be invited into lives at the best and the worst of times. I will take you all with me and hold you in my heart and prayers.
My last service in the Benefice will be a United Benefice service at All Saints Church, Stretton on Dunsmore on Sunday 29th September at 10.30am.
You may remember that we had planned a Benefice trip to the Cathedral that day, but we have decided to postpone that to the new year.
So whatever transitions that life brings you this summer, my hope and prayer for all of us is that we feel God’s presence, comfort and peace in all the changes of life.
Love and prayers