Letter for January

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jeremiah 29:11

Happy New Year to you all! The New Year dawns and I’m sure we all wonder what the year will have in store for us. The above quote from the prophet Jeremiah is currently a verse adopted by Ruishton Church of England Primary school, which they have as an underpinning of their vision for the school. It is good to be reminded, at the start of a New Year, that the plans God has for us are good, and that we can be assured by the hope we have in God that he will help us prosper and flourish, as we put our trust in him.

The coming year will see a number of new things getting going: new ministries to be launched and new initiatives started. Firstly, we have three members of our churches training on a Lay Worship Assistants course, started in the autumn, and due to be completed in the spring. There will be a special service of Commissioning in March, to which everyone will be invited, and we look forward to welcoming our new Lay Worship Assistants, Maggie Savage, Emma Tucker and Donna Nicholls, starting their ministries, leading non-Eucharistic services in our churches during the year.

Also, we were pleased to hear that a member of our congregation at Creech has been selected for training for ordained ministry. Dr Shaula Reilly will be heading off in the autumn to theological college. We are also looking forward to welcoming a newly retired priest, the Revd Gwen Smith, onto our Ministry Team in the New Year, once she has received her Permission to Officiate from the Bishop. Gwen and her husband Pete moved into Creech in the summer.

And also, as many of you will have heard by now, I have recently been appointed by the Bishop to be the next Rural Dean of Taunton. I shall be taking up this role later in the month.

All new ministries are started with some trepidation... I am looking forward to my new role and feel honoured to be asked, but also

rather daunted by the prospect. I am concerned about the increase in my workload, and felt I could only take this on if we found some additional support for the administrative part of my role in the Benefice. This is why we have been advertising for a Part-time Administrator in our Benefice. We hope to make an appointment in the New Year which will also see some changes in the way we operate.

Please can I encourage us to pray for all these new ministries about to start in the New Year? I believe these are a sign that God is at work amongst us. We shall all need support and encouragement as we get going and as we find our feet. I believe that the God who calls us is faithful, and will give us the gifts and all that we need to carry out the tasks he has given us. But we can only do that with prayer and through trust in God.

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year!

Rebecca Harris


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