Stepping into someone’s shoes?
I can remember an Archdeacon of Norfolk saying to me some years ago that he never referred to the period between the departure of a parish priest and the arrival of his successor as an ‘interregnum’. He used the word ’vacancy’, and had good reason.
“There is only one King who reigns over His Church,“ he said, “and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is with us always.”
But even the word ‘vacancy’ is suspect because it gives the impression that the departure of an incumbent leaves a church in a kind of ecclesiastical and spiritual vacuum or limbo.
A large number of very committed members of the congregations of St. Michael’s and All Saints have devoted themselves to ensuring that the worship and witness of the Churches have been sustained in the weeks between the departure of Mark Sanders and the arrival of Chris Davey. ‘Well done, good and faithful servants!’
The past months have been particularly challenging because of the impact of Covid-19. We have had to adapt to a very different way of gathering for worship and fellowship. This has been particularly distressing for those who are unable to use the technology or who find Zoomed worship deeply unsatisfying. But there have been some positive gains. We are very grateful to Anne Lawrence and others who have used their skills in the use of the media to make the Sunday services available to such a large number. And it has been a particular delight to welcome children into various aspects of leadership. You have blessed us.
But now, from looking back, we look forward to welcoming Chris Davey and his partner Jochen. The idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes is very unhelpful. Chris comes with his own experience of parish ministry to draw upon; his own personality and spirituality to offer as gifts. He has expressed his desire to work in a team with others; to encourage and develop their gifts.
It is a cause of great sadness to him and to us all that attendance at his licensing in St. Michael’s Church on the evening of Wednesday September 23rd will by invitation in order to limit the numbers. He also faces, right from the start, the additional difficulty of leading Sunday worship by Zoom.
Please uphold him in your prayers and let us welcome him warmly with our love.
Hopefully there will be an opportunity to meet face to face, and for a proper celebration when this virus is finally defeated by an effective vaccine.
The 2020 Ride and Stride is going ahead on Saturday, 12th September(formerly the Church Cycle Ride – you can now walk as well)
This event is being held, adapting as necessary for whatever Covid-19 guidelines advise on the day. Even though it may feel a bit different this year, and may possibly be a smaller event than normal, the Trust has decided to go ahead. Not all churches may be open for the Ride and Stride, and you may need to sign yourself in. A full list of participating churches is on the Suffolk Churches Trust website, and forms are available from the church
If you are finding it difficult to knock on doors for sponsorship this year, it is easy to set up your own online JustGiving page and you can then provide your potential sponsors with the JustGiving link. Enter the SHCT JustGiving site here, either sign in to your JustGiving account or set up a new account, then select “Fundraise for us”, then “Taking part in an event”. By choosing “Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride 2020” from the list you will then be able to set up your own collection page and you will get a link you can forward to your friends and family by email, Facebook or Twitter. Please ensure that you write on your JustGiving page, either in the “What I’m doing and why” box or in the “My Story” box, which church or chapel you would like your sponsorship money to benefit.
September Newsletter in full Monthly-Newsletter-for-September-2020162618.pdf