Life is full of change, some welcome, some not so welcome. The new president of the USA does seem to be ruffling feathers, let’s wait and see, calm heads are required.
On a domestic and diocesan front there are two significant changes in the offing. On Thursday 2 February, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord we will bid farewell to our Diocesan Bishop Richard Chartres, who will retire. Bishop Richard has lead this diocese with energy and vision. As a result of his enormous contribution this diocese has become one of the most vibrant and lively in the Church of England. He arrived to lead this diocese at a time of great upheaval and uncertainty, he has steadied the ship, managed significant change and enabled new ideas to flourish. We owe him a great deal. Please offer a prayer of thanks for Bishop Richard’s ministry amongst us and a prayer that with his wife Caroline and children he might enjoy a very happy retirement.
On a domestic front we welcome Fr Alan Trigle as our new Assistant Curate. As Fr Alan arrives to complete his training with us he brings a wealth of experience. Fr Alan begins his ministry amongst us on Sunday morning. Please do all you can to be with us to welcome him. Please pray for Alan and his family, that his time with us might be happy and fruitful.
As we prepare to celebrate the wonderful Feast of Candlemas on Sunday I’d like to share with you this lovely poem, entitled Candlemas, by the priest-poet Malcolm Guite:
They came, as called, according to the Law.
Though they were poor and had to keep things simple,
They moved in grace, in quietness, in awe,
For God was coming with them to His temple.
Amidst the outer court’s commercial bustle
They’d waited hours, enduring shouts and shoves,
Buyers and sellers, sensing one more hustle,
Had made a killing on the two young doves.
They come at last with us to Candlemas
And keep the day the prophecies came true.
We glimpse with them, amidst our busyness,
The peace that Simeon and Anna knew.
For Candlemas still keeps His kindled light,
Against the dark our Saviour’s face is bright.
With every blessing