A letter from Revd. Lee

By the time you read this, we will be well into the season of Easter and looking next towards Pentecost, the birth of the Church.

I pray that the events leading up to this time were well received and that you are all now looking forward to warmer days.

Rather than my usual, Rector’s Letter, I attach the Rector’s Address from our APCMs this year.

Dear Friends,

It has been nine months since you welcomed Roxy, Donna-marie and me to this parish and the Benefice. We found, and continue to find, your welcome and support incredible and affirming. It has been for us and I pray for you, an encouraging nine months and a good beginning to a new shared ministry between us all.

I use the term, shared ministry, as I hope you are discovering by now that this is how I lead. I am not simply here to minister to you, rather for us to minister together to each other. Enabling a far wider ministry to those in our communities. Something I am finding that is working quite well.

We are now enjoying new Orders of Service that bring us even closer together as a joint Benefice and the feedback I have received from many of you have been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you.

I am truly enjoying our ministry here. Yet I am aware of course of the layers of challenge we have been faced with over the last year since your last APCM. You have made repairs to your buildings, welcomed new Churchwardens, and planned for and oversaw the appointment of your new Rector. All of this whilst navigating a global pandemic and now upset and war in the Ukraine.

Covid-19 has presented much challenge and as we move out of restrictions, we remain mindful that cases are rising and whilst the effects of Covid-19 are remaining mild for most of us, it is still claiming lives and we must proceed with caution. It is my intention therefore, to continue to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19 using the tools we have become accustomed to such as wearing face coverings when it is wise to do so and sanitizing our hands. I am encouraged however that we have managed to reinstate groups and indeed encourage new ones to flourish.

I must pay tribute to Coffee Stop and those who run it. This is an incredibly helpful and popular group that reaches many of whom we would not usually see. And there is Cake! My sincere thanks to all who volunteer their time to keep this running smoothly, thank you to all involved.

I am also encouraged by the relationships we enjoy with our schools. It was a real pleasure to be a part of the process of setting the core Christian values at Ruishton Primary School of which I am Chair of Governors, I am now becoming a frequent visitor in both of our Church Schools, also being a governor at Creech. I am involved with leading collective worship and offering support where I can. I would like to credit Donna Nicholls for all the work she has done and continues to do, to keep the relationship with the schools as close as it has become and to have supported and encouraged me in my ministry in our schools. We are working on plans to further develop what we offer to our schools and are looking at ways to further reach and support our parents and families. We are looking at securing funding for the post of our Children’s and Families Worker which runs out this time next year. Your prayer here would be greatly received as would any support you might be able to offer.

On the subject of Children, you will know by now that I am now also able to express my passion for youth ministry as I take up post as the Padre for Somerset ACF (Army Cadet Force). This work will take me to build relationships with young people in our area. A ministry I will report more on once I truly begin this summer.

This year we will see the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and will be holding celebrations over the long Bank Holiday weekend, starting on Bank Holiday Thursday at Thornfalcon with the lighting of the beacon at the top of the clump, following a proposed picnic supper outside the Church (inside if inclement). Saturday the 4th June will see us at the Old Vicarage where the Luke’s family have kindly offered their garden to host an afternoon tea with summer-fair like activities. It will be a real joy!

There will be much to think about in the coming year. It has been good to be able to put in all the big dates back in January, even if we have had to move things around a little during the year. This gives us the opportunity to do most of the things we would like to do and helps us all as a benefice to share the hospitality and gifts that God affords us.

I could say so much more in this report, but you will no doubt be pleased that I will hold back a little and simply say what a huge privilege it is becoming to serve you all in all the ways God is leading us.

Today it seems the year ahead promises only one thing. Uncertainty!

However, as a Christian community, we have the joy of serving a God who already knows what is to come. Our task this coming year as it always has been and always will be is this:

To watch, to listen to actively seek the voice and will of God. We do that best in community and this is the community that God has asked us to hold and serve together.

Then thank you for inviting me to walk with you as you continue ... as you have for years, in faithful active service to God and His kingdom here in this place at this time.