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Team Ministry in West Dorset

Rector’s Ramblings April

Posted: 31st March 2015

Dear Friends,

Easter
Easter is the most important Christian festival in the year, although it is often overshadowed by Christmas. The opportunity to recall that last week of Jesus’ life, and to walk with Him from Palm Sunday to Easter  Sunday is a once-a-year privilege. It reminds us of the price God paid to bring us to Him, and encourages us to renew our faith in our risen Lord. You will find details of the Holy Week services elsewhere in this magazine. You will be warmly welcomed at all services, and we look forward to seeing you.

Moving on
Towards the end of June Jackie and I shall be moving to Zeals, part of a group of four villages known as Upper Stour, just off the A303. The parish includes Stourhead, the National Trust House and Gardens. Our last Sunday in the Melbury Team will be 21st June, and I shall be licensed as Priest in Charge of the Upper Stour on 22nd July.
It has not been an easy decision to make. We love living here, have made many very dear friends, and leave a great staff team, all of whom I shall miss greatly.  There are exciting developments going on I shall be disappointed not seeing at first hand come to fruition. However, when you believe that God is calling you to move, it is foolish to ignore that prompt, and I am sure that this move has the Lord’s hand on it.

I shall be 60 next year, and unless I were to stay here until retirement, this year is probably the last sensible time to move.  We have been blessed with a new granddaughter, Eva Grace, born in February, and this opportunity has arisen to take a post with easier access to the various parts of our families.

There will be time to say more nearer the time of leaving, but I wanted you to know as soon as possible. We would value your prayers us as we prepare for this move, and for those who will continue to minister in this team after June, as we will continue to pray for you.

Bishop Graham
You may have heard that Bishop Graham (Bishop of Sherborne) is also heading for pastures new. I have been hugely thankful for his support and encouragement to me individually, and on behalf of this Team. He will be greatly missed. Please pray for him, and also for Sherborne Archdeacon Paul Taylor, as he also covers for the Archdeaconry of Dorset while there is currently a vacancy. From April 20th, he will also be without a local Bishop. Further details about Bishop Graham’s new job, and arrangements for his farewell
can be found here. We have moved all evening services from 12th April so that we are free to join in his farewell at Sherborne Abbey. Please ask if a lift would be helpful.

General Election
It is vitally important that we take part in this election, and that we cast our votes thoughtfully and prayerfully. There is an opportunity to hear all the main candidates in this constituency at St. Mary’s Maiden Newton on 20th April.

Annual Meetings
In April, many churches will be holding their Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Churchwardens are elected, reports and accounts of the last year presented, and plans for the future discussed. If you care about what happens in your local church, do find out when the meeting is for your village, and come along.

You will find details either in the village section of the Chimes, or from your church warden.

And finally …

Life isn’t about how fast you run, or how high you climb; it’s about how well you bounce.

Yours in Christ,

Graham