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Letter from the Vicarage.
Letter from the Vicarage.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29)
I write this on the eve of Easter Sunday early in the morning. It is a glorious day already as the Sun fills the vicarage garden and I listen to the birds cheeping and calling to one another. I have just had a wander in the garden and marvelled at the newly made raised vegetable beds with their tender young plants – hoping I haven’t planted them out too soon. I also delight in the old rickety greenhouse to which we have give a facelift, added some new shelving and a gravel floor. I have set away some seeds in the hope again that it isn’t too soon. I’m looking forward to bringing some new life into the garden, to nurturing it and seeing it grow.
However, as I sit here, I can’t help but sing in my heart my favourite Easter hymn (a little premature but with a sense of anticipation) – See what a morning, gloriously bright………tomb filled with light as the angels announce, “Christ is Risen”. The hymn speaks of the glory of the resurrection of Jesus.
Yesterday we recalled Jesus death, today we wait and tomorrow we will rejoice. It will be a rejoicing full of hope and joy, optimism and a looking forward.
It is hard to believe that I have been Priest in Charge in our parishes for almost 10 months now. These first few months have filled me with joy, optimism and a sense of looking forward.
In Belmont, we now have a beautifully restored church building which will serve the community well for many years to come. It is planned that the church building will be open more to enable people to have easier access their parish church. There will also be a number of planned events. There is a team working together to see how this might be fulfilled. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) have a day planned in May to explore the life of the church. We will ask ourselves “What is important for this parish at this time”? We will be exploring ‘where we are now’, ‘where we want to be’, and ‘how we are going to get there’. Alongside these questions we will tie in the Diocesan priorities of Growth, Poverty and Children and Young people.
In Pittington, we are once again looking forward to having the church open on Saturday’s during the summer, a time to welcome a varied number of visitors to this ancient church, enabled by a generous hospitality of the people there. In time, we will offer the wonderful cream teas throughout August. At St Laurence’s, the PCC has also agreed to explore what our priorities as a church are and what resources and support will be needed to fulfil them. And so, a questionnaire will be offered for each member of the congregation to complete as a starting point. We will give thanks for what is good, but we will also look forward to what can be.
What would be interesting however, is for people who do not regularly come to church to let us know what they would like to see, either in the church or through the church in the community.
Amidst all the exploration for both churches my hope is that we will sow new seeds, nurture them and watch them grow with faith. And, that we may look forward with renewed hope, anticipation and expectation that we will see the Risen Christ among us in all that we do.