From the Rector - April 2016

Dear Friends,

A few days ago I was asked whether we were ”settled into the Rectory, now?" It's a kind question showing care for your Rector and family. It struck me because it was a question for the first four to five months I was asked several times a day every day. It prompted me to reflect on my first few months. I believe we "settled in" very quickly but there has, at least up until now, been a major event or season to plan and prepare for. No sooner had I arrived than we were planning for Harvest festivals across the Benefice; Eucharists, Evensongs, lunches and suppers. These were not at an end when we started to think about Advent and then Christmas including the thought of post Christmas with a reduction in staff. From January we started our Pilgrim Course. Plough Sunday and Candlemas followed and then Lent with all its intricacies of Lent courses, Lent Lunches and special services leading up to Easter. Then there is the season of the APCM — The Annual Parochial Church Meeting with endless minutes, accounts and reports to paw over and meetings to attend. With five parishes in the Benefice we have five meetings between the beginning of March and the end of April.

I often think that Christmas is over too quickly and so I emphasise the Christmas — Epiphany season taking us up to Candlemas on the 2nd February but every Clergyman and Benefice Administrator is mentally deep in thought about Lent while still in January. People often think that Eastertide is too long; weeks and weeks of it. Yes, there are still things to prepare for - Beating the bounds and Rogation on the 1st of May and our Pentecost service and picnic on May 8th. However, there is a profound sense of pause with Eastertide. I like to think a God given time that in the business of life we can all take some time to reflect on His glory and recall His love for the world and each one of us without having to rush on to the next thing.

May I take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard to prepare for the Easter feast, worship planners and leaders, servers, flower arrangers (and display designers!), cleaners and church beautifiers, rota compilers and compliers and re-arrangers. Thank you all and more besides.

We will be having an Open House at The Rectory in Semley on Saturday 2nd April from 2.30pm to 5pm. Drop in (and out) during this time for a cup of something and to say hello.

May I wish you all a blessed Eastertide.

Yours,

Richard