As many of you will already know I will be stepping down from my post as Rector of the Glaven Valley Benefice in September. One of the questions I have been asked several times is ‘have you enjoyed it?’ Well, I can honestly say that there have been many joyful occasions but there have also been sad ones and challenging times too.
Looking back to just over a year ago we invited Archdeacon John came to talk with us. All too aware of the difficulty our PCC’s are having in finding members and people to take on key posts we wanted to know of any creative options for the way forward.
He started off the conversation by asking us ‘what church is for?’ Answering it himself he said ‘it is not here to put on as many services as possible, it is not here to look after ancient buildings (although it needs to do these things too) it is here to engage in community’.
Looking back that’s what I’ve enjoyed most: Spending time with the children in school, often being touched by the depth of their spiritual insights. Getting to know their families at Messy Church and chatting over a hearty Blakeney Breakfast. Making links between the year 6 school children and the people at Glaven Caring. Chatting together whilst making Christingles and then being together in the afternoon for the Christingle service in church.
Meeting people and having a chat in Spar or walking along the quay and sea wall. Meeting people at the many events throughout the year – the Cley Art Exhibitions, Cley Fete, the Glandford Dog Show, Jazz on the Green in Wiveton. Chatting over Blakeney Lunch. Enjoying beautiful music at the many concerts and so much more.
And it has been a privilege to have been part of the joyous special occasions in your lives – weddings, baptisms, and to be with you at the saddest times too. The most important thing about my faith is that God loves us. Not just those who are ‘paid-up members’ of the church but everyone, whether they believe in God or not. So my prayer in all that I have done here is that people would sense something of God’s love for them.
When I first arrived here I imagined I’d be here for a long time. But that was before I met and subsequently married Robert! He’s already been retired for some time and this job is pretty full-on. So, as someone rather bluntly put it, as ‘you don’t know how long you’ve got’, I have decided to take the opportunity of spending more time together.
Another question I’m being asked is ‘what will you do’. My response is ‘I will do more being’. I come to appreciate more and more the contemplative way of spirituality. I, like many of you, was inspired and encouraged by our friend Paul Veitch who died just over a year ago. Paul delighted in seeing God everywhere and being with God in every precious moment. That’s what I want to do too.
My final service will be on Sunday 9th September at 11am in St Nicholas’ Church, Blakeney which will be followed by a Bring and Share Lunch.
On Friday 14th September from 6.00pm in the barn located next to Cley Spy, Glandford there will be a Farewell Ceilidh. Please come!