With horror I realise that it’s over six months since I last shared news with you about St Edith’s. All I can say is mea culpa and promise to do my best to avoid long silences from now on.
Our interregnum continues. Twice we have advertised through the Church Times and twice we have not had anyone to interview. The seven churches have met with our Rural Dean to discuss the way forward and, initially, decided to “revisit” the Parish Profile at a meeting in Great Carlton on Monday, June 11th, in readiness for the placement of a third recruitment advert in the autumn. We are also thinking about and discussing what to do in case this third advert has no response.
Meanwhile we are now preparing for our Patronal Festival in July. We are having a concert given by the Somercotes Singers on the 13th, going on pilgrimage to Walsingham on the 14th, and an evening Songs of Praise will replace our usual Morning Prayer on Sunday 15th, St Edith’s Feast Day. Please see our Calendar for details of upcoming events.
After a lot of work from people in all of our seven parishes the beginning of the end is in sight. Our Rural Dean, Rev. Nick, joined us at the end of our Benefice Eucharist on October 29th. There were representatives from each of the seven churches present, and the Parish Profile we had been working on through the summer was formally, and unanimously, approved. This means that in early December the Vacancy will be advertised in the Church Times and we hope to hold interviews towards the end of January. We hope – and pray.
The preparation of the Parish Profile is progressing well, following the meeting of representatives from the seven churches and Nick Brown, Rural Dean, on Saturday 9 September. The plan is to approve the Parish Profile formally at the meeting of PCC representatives to take place after the Benefice Communion Service at 10 am on Sunday 29 October in St Mary’s, Manby. All are welcome to join us in the service and at the bring and share lunch after the service, before the meeting takes place.
The preparation of the Parish profile is progressing well and is now part of a Deanery programme led by the Rural Dean, Nick Brown, who will be joining the next meeting of PCC representatives from the seven churches on Saturday 9 September. The aim is to complete the profile by the end of October. It is important that time is allowed for careful preparation and prayer before finalising this document; any thoughts on the future would be appreciated.
In August we have two opportunities for mutual support over the August Bank Holiday: the Dog Show at St Leonard’s, South Cockerington and the Flower Festival at St Helen’s, Theddlethorpe, with a Songs of Praise service at 6 pm on the Sunday.
In July 2016, we had been banished from our building, so that essential work could be done. But this year, in July 2017, in the week of our Patronal Festival, the work had already been completed, the church had resumed its pattern of worship, and the Saturday Shop had returned and was flourishing.
On July 8th, we went on pilgrimage to Walsingham, with thankful hearts. We had a wonderful day, with plenty of time to relax in the beautiful garden at the shrine, or to walk around the village.
Back in Grimoldby, we had to get busy again. We held a Flower Festival from Friday 14th until Sunday. Christine Baxter had organised this, with help from friends at two of our sister churches, at Saltfleetby and Theddlethorpe. In addition to the display of flowers, the WI, the Honeysuckle Club, Little Lambs, and Grimoldby Primary School had displays of their activities. On Friday evening, the Somercotes Singers gave a concert of well-known songs, much enjoyed. The festival continued through Saturday and Sunday when, in the morning, we had an informal service of Songs of Praise at which everyone had a chance to choose a favourite hymn.
So, it was all over – but not quite. In the coolness of the church, the wonderful flowers continued to bless us for many days.
We are making progress in preparing the Parish Profile, which is needed before the recruitment process for our new Rector can take place. If you have any views on how we can grow as a group of seven churches, please let a member of the PCC know your ideas/views.
When representatives of all the church PCCs met, we agreed to organise a series of informal social gatherings, and a list will be published in the August news sheet. This should help to maintain contact and provide an opportunity to get to know each other better and exchange ideas.
It was also agreed that the Holy Communion service on the fifth Sunday in the month would be a Benefice Holy Communion, and we would like to invite as many as possible of the regular congregation from each church to join in this service. The first one will be at 10.30 on Sunday 30th July, in St John the Baptist Church, Great Carlton.
As we enter a period of interregnum, with the departure of Chris Turner, after his ten and a half years of very special ministry, we are trying to maintain communication by continuing the monthly news sheet. The aim is to continue the established monthly pattern of one service of Holy Communion in each church, by using retired clergy living in the area.
As some of you may know, I am leaving for a new post. I have been appointed as the vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks in Kent.
I would like to take this opportunity to say, thank you. It has been a great joy and privilege walking alongside you in your faith journey. This was not a part of the country Lorraine or I knew before we arrived, and we found a wonderful welcome and generous hearts. Over the ten and half years we have been here, we have made many friends, and sadly lost some too, there have been some great successes and some things that didn’t go to plan, but through it all I have seen God at work.
My last service in these parishes will be Sunday 30th April at 11:15 in St Edith’s Grimoldby. After the service there is a bring and share lunch at the Grimoldby and Manby village hall. Everyone is welcome to join us.
I will be licensed at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday 24th May, at 7pm, by the Bishop of Rochester. It is a long way down to Kent, but if anyone does want to come to that service it would be great to see you there.
Before all that we will be celebrating Easter. This is the season when we think of endings and new beginnings. The cross brought an end to the old order, an end to slavery to sin, and the resurrection brought a new creation, new life in Christ. So as we reflect on the cross and the empty tomb, we remember that God can make flowers grow in the desert, water flow from the rock, turn death into life. So, changing us and our future is a relatively small task for the almighty.
Firstly a big thank you, to all those who came and helped with the clean up before Christmas. Lots of moving, dusting, hoovering and mopping involved, but it was great to be able to have our Christmas services in the Church.
The nave and aisle roofs are now finished, along with the associated timbers and stonework. The porch roof needs to be completed, but the scaffolding will be coming down very soon. Inside, the tower has been ‘opened up’, so that we can now see the west window, and the new toilet facilities have been installed.
The final part will be to fit the servery along the west end of the north aisle. The last part of the project will be to produce some information boards and leaflets, telling people about the church and the work done.
This all means that we should be back in church for March, with the regular worship and with our Saturday Shop up and running. There will still be work we need to do, but that will be for the next project. Thanks to all those who have taken such an interest in the church, and for your patience while it’s been going on.