From the Curate - January 2019

It is very easy to think that Christmas is over once our Christmas and New Year annual leave comes to an end. The Spring Term starts at school and end of semester exams loom throughout January. No doubt a few of us are planning to make some New Year resolutions when 2019 rolls in.

As a Church we continue to celebrate Christmastide up to 6th of January and then we stay in the season as we keep Epiphanytide. During this season we continue to focus on the great gift that we celebrate at Christmas. The Gift of God becoming human. A gift which means we are invited to consider how we are going to live. Not just at Christmas or throughout the month of January when new year resolutions are fresh in our minds but every day of our lives.

During Epiphanytide we celebrate the arrival of the Magi who bring gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Each gift making explicit different aspects of Jesus’ life and presence in the world. A life and presence that has an impact on humankind for all eternity. We are invited to respond to this gift of God. And our response can lead us into some very interesting and unexpected places and situations.

I am delighted to say that my response to God's invitation has led me to be Assistant Curate in the Benefice of St Bartholomew. I look forward to serving among you for about three years. Liz (my wife) and our family are looking forward to moving into Donhead St Andrew during the first part of the new year. We currently live in Shaftesbury and have lived there since September 2017. I was Assistant Curate in the Shaftesbury Team from September 2017 until December 2018 when I was licenced to the Benefice of St Bartholomew.

Before moving to Shaftesbury we lived in Wimborne. I lived there for 10 years whilst Liz has lived there most of her life. Liz still works in Wimborne for a couple of days a week and the rest of the week works in Guildford. At the moment Liz is completing a PhD so all in all is kept very busy. I am step-dad to four children but two of these are now at university so the house is now only a full one at holiday time. Our eldest lives in Southampton with her fiancé, having decided to settle there after completing her degree and we are delighted to be (step) grandparents to a very active granddaughter of 16 months!

When responding to God's invitation to know and love God we don't ever really know where God will lead us. It won't necessarily be an easy path as there are always the challenges that life throws at us. What we are assured of, however, is that when we accept God's invitation to follow him we will receive God's Grace and Blessing to be the best we can be and to be channels of God's love into our world. When I said yes to a vocation to the ordained ministry the whole family placed ourselves into God's hands not knowing where we would be called to live. We certainly feel blessed by God to now find ourselves in this Benefice.

I look forward to ministering among you and getting to know you in the months ahead. In the meantime I wish you a very happy New Year and God's blessing on your year ahead.

Kevin Martin