Letter From The Clergy

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August 2017

Dear Friends

As I write this, our amazing vicar Brian has just left us. He leaves a big hole in the lives of many and certainly in the life of our church. He will be much missed! Elsewhere in this magazine you will find some of the many tributes, and also a copy of his final sermon.

Like the year, parish ministry goes in cycles. As I get to grips with much of what Brian previously did, I feel fortunate that he left us just prior to the summer when church activity is traditionally lower than during the rest of the year.

Having said that, you will note from the calendar for this month that we continue with our regular activities: worshipping God, studying his Word, pastoral ministry, charitable giving and developing our spirituality (look for the Bible study, Bereavement, Charity lunch and Julian groups), but the number of social / outreach events is fewer than at most other times. The month of August is traditionally a time of rest and refreshment – and perhaps we need a time to take stock after all the excitement of the last few weeks!

As humans we need rest in order to recharge our batteries: spiritual, mental and physical; we need time out to put things in perspective and to relax.

As we come to terms with the change that an interregnum (and eventually a new vicar) brings, we have an opportunity to think and ponder about how we might serve God and continue to work his purposes out here in Orpington.

One of the opportunities afforded us is the chance to hear from different people. With this in mind I have arranged for a guest preacher to visit us each month – during August we welcome Fr Paul Prentice to lead our worship on Sunday 6th and in September the Revd Chris Kitchener has kindly agreed to take a slot. There will be someone on a regular basis.

In addition, each member of our ministry team has taken the chance to write this letter – next month – September – we will hear from Jenny and over the following months from Ann, Abi and Pam.

So it’s already looking exciting! I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for this brilliant church.

As Ecclesiastes, a great Old Testament teacher, wrote: ‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.’[1]

Come the autumn there will be plenty going on – in the meantime I wish you a wonderful summer of respite and renewal.

With every blessing, Cathy

 

[1] Ecclesiastes 3.1