The old saying ‘time flies when you are enjoying yourself’ seems rather apt. As I look back over my time as Rector of The United benefice of The Ridwares and Kings Bromley that time has flown.
A great deal has happened and changed during my years – I have shared so many joys and a good number of sorrows.
Viv and I have spent much of our lives in rural communities, so coming to this benefice was so natural and it is a lovely place to minister in.
As we prepare to leave, the sadness is inevitable. However, it is accompanied by my thanksgiving for so many people who have supported me and helped make my life truly blessed.
At the forefront of my ministry have been the church families in each of our parishes. Yes, people have come and gone, but in every parish there is a core group of folk that are there through thick and thin.
It would be unkind to name some people and not others, but my special thanks go to my churchwardens over the years, PCC members, and so many who work behind the scenes; ministerial colleagues over the years – Revd Deborah, Readers Kate and Betty, and all those caring and loving people who have been involved in the life of the parishes year in and year out.
But it is not just church life. I am sad to be leaving the wider communities – people I have known for a variety of other reasons through groups, clubs, local farming, businesses and places I have always been made welcome.
Viv has also enjoyed a great deal of community involvement, particularly with WI, the Good Friday Workshop and the Credo Club at school.
We have both seen a great sense of community and belonging through major events: The Kings Bromley Show, Hamstall Fete, Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas and Easter, the Songs of Praise services at Mavesyn, and the decoration of our churches with flowers many others can only dream of. These are times when our communities are very visible.
Viv and I would like to thank you all for your friendship, kindness, support and prayers. We leave with a great deal of fond memories.
As we enter a time of Interregnum there is always a sense of uncertainty. I hope the transition is gentle and positive, and I pray for the future wellbeing of the benefice which will include Yoxall.
With God’s blessing now and for the years to come.
Your friend and Rector