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August News from our Rector Mark

2 August 2019

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A Letter from our Rector, Mark:
Time for God

Inevitably this is being written in July and while Schools are winding down St Michael’s and All Saints aren’t and services keep going through August. But perhaps August should allow us some space.
Space to pray – for which we need the determination and the discipline to find a time, a space and if you are like me, some content. It is very difficult just to sit down and ‘pray’ very quickly you wonder what it is and why you are doing it. Prayer life contains a lot of regularity and rhythm with moments of blessing and moments of real sharing with God. But these are the gift of prayer, not something we can demand.
Space to read the Bible – hint – use some good Bible reading notes (contact Betty Mockford) and allow some time.
Space to worship – plenty of opportunities on a Sunday, Wednesday at 10.30 – and as well as these when out for a walk – notice things, find a stillness which may be the beginning of worship and prayer.
These point us to how to find some space for God who we are called to love with all hearts, minds soul and strength.
Then there is space for neighbours whom we are called to love as ourselves. Note there are two focal points for love – our neighbour whom God loves, and ourselves – whom God also loves.
Perhaps August which is less rushed gives an opportunity for this … but then comes September. For some this means a return to school, to work, to routine. But God still calls us to love to realise we are beloved and times of stillness are needed for that. On September 9th the Deanery has a lovely opportunity to share in a Quiet Day at Crow’s Hall, Debenham. The day is being led by the Rev Dr John Parr, a Biblical scholar who opens up the Scriptures in a beautiful way. He will be leading it on the three Marys of the Gospels and there will be time to listen to him and time and space to find God. If you would like to come, see the booking details below:
News from St Michael’s
Mark’s retirement
On the 21st July Mark shared the news of his retirement at the services. This is what he shared with us:
‘I have a difficult announcement to share with you As many may know Clare retires in May 2020 and after prayer thought and discussion I will retire in July 2020 – after 37 great and stretching years in ministry (plus 3 years of training before that). It has been a huge privilege to be in these lovely two parishes – thank you – it is the people that make this true. There is a reason for telling you so
early; Bishop Martin and the patrons, Pembroke College have agreed to proceed with the long drawn process of appointment. There will be a series of meetings over the Autumn and possibly into the New Year to sort out the benefice profile, then adverts, then hopefully in Spring an interview process so that the person can give notice and move to the parishes in August 2020 for a September start. The Church of England with unintentional irony calls this ‘fast track’! The advantage is hopefully only a short vacancy.
This comes with prayers – as meanwhile we work together on mission and ministry, prayer and worship, Celebrating Saxtead and all that we do together in God’s name. We have a busy year ahead.’