Well what a Sunday! It was good to see so many people in church to wish Fr Andrew well. A huge thank you to everybody who arranged the hall, provided food and served the drink. It’s so good to get together like that after Sunday Mass, I do hope we can repeat the occasion in the near future, we don’t need an excuse, gathering together to eat forms community and establishes friendships.
Fr Andrew encouraged us to pray more which I though an extremely important message. Our whole existence as a church must be founded upon a good and lively prayer life.
As a lead up to Pentecost our two Archbishops have encouraged us to pray. I quote from their recent letter:
“We are taking the unprecedented step for writing to every serving parish priest in the Church of England inviting you and your people to join us in a week of prayer (May 8th – 15th. we long to see again a wave of prayer across our land…
Our hope is
– for all Christians to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ
– for all of us to have confidence to share the Gospel
– for all to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow Him as disciples, to live out the Gospel and to seek God’s Kingdom from day to day.”
There are lots of resources to help us in this task here. I have asked Andy Jones who manages our website to include some material which might be useful – a Novena of prayer from Friday 6 May – Saturday 14th May, nine days of prayer. There is scripture to read, a picture to look at, an opportunity to wait prayerfully for the Holy Spirit, to listen with attentiveness and an opportunity to respond to the prompting of the Word.
I hope you will all join me.
With my prayers for you all.
Well I think I’ve just about recovered from Sunday; what a marvellous and joyful day ! although many of you will have noticed that I had a lot of redness around my eyes – must have been an allergy to all the incense! It is hard to know where to begin! The first things is to say thank you. Thank you to you all from all of us for a very generous leaving cheque which will be put to very good use in our new Vicarage in Sunbury. Thank you too for the cards and the gifts. Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to such a memorable lunchtime party at St Denys. Alice and the children would also like to add their thanks to everyone who has welcomed them and befriended them during our time at St Nick’s. Thank you to you all for all we have shared together over the past few years and a special thank you to Fr Simon for his friendship and his guidance. I’m sure some of our paths will continue to cross and I hope to see as many of you as I can at my Conversational Evensong on 24th April and my induction as Vicar on 4th May in my new parish.
As Fr Simon said in his sermon on Sunday, nothing, nothing, happens in our lives and in our faith if we don’t bring everything back to the Risen Lord. Everything we do can be traced back to the empty tomb. Let us never forget this. We are Easter People and Alleluia is our song !
I leave you with the closing words of one of my great heroes, the Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud, as he finished his last ever broadcast before he retired…
God bless you all!
Fr Andrew x