The Very Last Pastoral Letter from the Rector

May 2020 – the very last Pastoral letter from the present Rector

Can you recall various symphonies which then come to a finale – a musical flourish – and just when you think it is finished another flourish and so on? Also, can you recall when guests signal it’s time to leave, you say your goodbyes in the hallway, and then continue chatting outside for another 10 minutes or so, before finally they move off? Well that is rather like my retirement. Officially I cease to be the Rector of the Benefice on the 11th May, but on the 12th May I am licenced as ‘Permission to Officiate’. This is an unusual step, normally never permitted straight way – but as we know these are not normal times. I will be living in the Rectory until we settle on a house, but we cannot view any properties at the moment, and then it will take a while before we move. In the meanwhile I might as well continue to serve – although I will not be in charge – I will work under the authority of the Rural Dean. As Rector – what are my parting words of wisdom? First is to thank you all, not only from myself but from Amanda and my family. The average tenure today of a Priest is about five years – having stayed 20 years reveals how we have made this Benefice our home, and have been grateful for the support we have received in our time with you. The second, is to urge folk to engage in that ‘leap of faith’ to trust in God, whatever may befall us. A Ugandan Christian, Henry, was on a bus that was attacked by guerrillas. Half his face was blown away. A Christian organisation got him to Montreal where he had many operations. David Watson, an Anglican clergyman, tells of his visit with him. He could not help flinching when he saw the mask that was once a face. But Henry's eyes still sparkled. He was unable to speak, but he wrote on paper for David; “God never promises us an easy time. Just a safe arrival.” Some twenty one years ago, the Church of England Newspaper described me as an expert apologist (a defender of the Christian Faith) and when some publication attacks the faith, I always rise to the challenge, and research the issue. Over the last ten years I have been researching the Resurrection of our Lord, and I can say emphatically any unbiased look at the facts using the standard tools of historic research confirms this to be a matter of history, as much as any event we can claim happened. This being the case, we can relax in God, knowing he is in charge – and we are all promised ‘a safe arrival’! God bless you all. Michael

 

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The Very Last Pastoral Letter from the Rector

May 2020 – the very last Pastoral letter from the present Rector

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