Hello to you all.
As I write this I am coming to the end of my last week of training at Queens Foundation. By the time you read it I will have moved house, been away on my pre-ordination retreat, been ordained deacon at Worcester Cathedral and joined you at St. Godwald’s. It is a time of profound change for me and for my family: my husband Phil, Asher who is 17 and just taking his AS levels, and Nathanael who is 7. We are leaving the church in Studley where we have been part of the fellowship and lay ministry for the past ten years and beginning a whole new phase of our lives.
Change always involves endings; and it is right and proper to acknowledge those endings and give thanks for all that has gone before. Then there are the new beginnings which can be exciting and full of new possibilities. And sometimes, in between, can be something of wilderness experience, where we can feel set adrift, no longer part of one thing, yet not quite belonging somewhere else. We can feel a bit lost and unsure without the familiar boundaries and expectations around us.
I feel endings acutely. It is part of my personality that I need to acknowledge that things have been significant and that sometimes it is hard to let go. And I have had experiences of the wilderness at different times in my life too. But as I leave Queens and give thanks for all it has given me, I remember that the reason for being there was to prepare me for ministry, a ministry that begins at St. Godwalds! So any sense of wilderness that we may experience in these next few weeks as a family is also a natural part of the journey to a new home and a new fellowship and new ways of discovering God amongst us.
There will be changes for you too. Some of you may have been part of St. Godwald’s all your lives. Others may feel new and just beginning to get to know people. For many of you - as for Christine – I am your first curate. I am excited about getting to know you and travelling alongside you on the next part of the journey that God has in store for all of us. As we share new beginnings together, soon we will look up and realise that we are no longer strangers. I look forward to that most of all.