September is a month of summer's end, but new also of new beginnings. Our Churches are starting to hold more services such as baptisms, young children are starting primary school, older children moving on to secondary education, youngsters starting apprenticeships or college, and teenagers preparing for university.
New beginnings can be both a time of excitement and of trepidation. At the leaver’s services in both Bishopstone and Wanborough Primary Schools, those moving on admitted they were both nervous and excited.
And it is true to say that September marks another new beginning for the Churches in our Benefice, for Revd Phil Ashby who has been helping over the past few months is moving on to look after another 2 churches that are in vacancy.
And for me it is a kind of new beginning, with the Deanery short of clergy cover, as there are another 2 parishes where their previous Vicar has moved on to new parishes in another Diocese.
This means that we will still have limited services, as try as much as I can, I have not mastered the art of being in 2 places at once. I ask for your patience and understanding as we work on our pattern of services.
We will continue to work together and support one another. There is a willingness to move around the Benefice for services and we must build on that, especially at special times of the year such as Harvest Festival, Remembrance Sunday and Christmas services.
We have an example from our farmers who often help each other out at Harvest time. On Remembrance Sunday we remember all those, from many different parts of our nation and Commonwealth, who gave their lives that we might live in peace. And at Christmas we remember the Wise Men who travelled many miles to worship the Christchild and the shepherds who left their sheep to go and see the baby in the manger.
So we must not be afraid to travel to another church in our Benefice for our worship together. We have a common purpose in worshipping our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, to thank God for all his many blessings to us, and to ask the Holy Spirit to equip us in our discipleship day by day.
It is about togetherness and wholeness as we support one another in our homes and communities. May we continue to support our community organisations, including our churches, now meeting again – remembering the communities to which we belong to are so important to our lives and our well-being.
With my love and prayers.