As I prepare to leave the parish for a sabbatical rest, I am mindful of the friends that I have made and relationships that have been built over these last 7 years. I feel that I would like to reiterate that sense of privilege of being a parish priest. I am not denying the frustrations and sorrows that parish life brings but I would like to publicly state how fortunate I have been to be resident in Summertown and vicar to its people.
This blog site will remain dormant until Advent when the new church year begins. I will also go into a hibernation of sorts. After travelling to the Taizé Community in Burgundy, we will swap our vicarage with a young German family who will feed our rabbits and get to know Oxford. We will then holiday in the Dordogne (on a golf complex) and frequent ourselves with French cuisine, a slower pace of life, much reading and a box set or two.
As many of you know I have subscribed to a pottery course in Oxford. I hope to reach a level whereby I can confidently throw pots and create various shapes and designs independently. I would love to develop a pottery in the church hall and even start to play with clay with others. I am also retreating to north Wales, an Ignatian retreat, in which I hope to go back to the source of my faith.
Most importantly, my prayer is that the life of faith will continue to flourish at St Michael’s and beyond. A group has formed in order to say Morning Prayer each day (9.30am), to pray for the church, the parish and the world. The Venerable David Meara (firstname.lastname@example.org) will take up the mantle of overseeing worship and pastoral care at St Michael’s, ably assisted by the Revd’s Ayson Perberdy, Rodney Hill and various others. Hopefully, normal service will continue! The church wardens, Doreen Barrett (email@example.com) Irim Sarwar (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be delighted to field any questions alongside the newly-titled Operations Manager, Leah Mattinson, in the office (email@example.com).
I hope you will be able to come to my last service at St. Michael’s (for some time) on Sunday, St Mary Magdalene. The Eucharist takes place at 8am and 10am. If I don’t see you then, may God bless you until we meet again in the season of the colour purple (Advent).
No matter where you are on the journey of faith, you are always welcome at St Michael & All Angels! See what’s going on by clicking here which will transport you to our website.