This Month's Message

Harpley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Revd. Judith Pollard

Acting Team Rector

                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2021

June is burstin’ out all over our benefice  - forty square miles of prime west Norfolk countryside!               

I’d like to start by thanking all those who attended the recent Plant Sale at St. Nicholas Church, Gayton - and to all of you who support, year after year, our church/village fundraising events across the benefice. We do value the energy and commitment of volunteers and money raised helps support our work in many ways. St. Nicholas’ Church is now open, having been closed so long for building works and at last we are able to see inside – very different, I think you’d agree!  I hope you liked what you saw. This work is the enduring legacy of my late colleague, Reverend Jane Holmes, who worked tirelessly for many years, fundraising for and overseeing this major project - but sadly did not live to see it completed.

I think the church looks wonderful. There is a huge new carpet, new upholstered movable chairs and the dilapidated pews have been removed - apart from a couple of paupers’ pews conserved by the North Door - and the whole church is light, spacious and flexible. We look forward to welcoming people back into our churches as soon as the restrictions due to the pandemic are eased (hopefully!)

Building and renovation works are taking place in other churches in our group (of ten). It is a huge responsibility to look after our built heritage of amazing medieval buildings.  But these churches are important: they hold the collective memory of our village communities over many centuries: graves, war memorials, christening and marriage registers; and while the buildings are not always ideally suited to modern purposes (eg. no toilet or kitchen facilities!) they are craftsmen-built sacred spaces to the glory of God, signs of God’s Kingdom,  hallowed places for prayer, praise and worship.

It would make a huge difference if we didn’t have these magnificent buildings at the heart of our communities. I believe they are valued by churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike - and the church continues to be there for everyone in their time of need.

We continue to evaluate how we can engage with our communities, reach out to everyone in the best way possible while being challenged by dwindling resources and especially personnel.  Long gone are the days when one vicar had a single parish to focus on. To put this in today’s context, whereas Jane and I, along with our valued and essential Ministry Team, shared the ministry for the ten churches in our group, I  and the team, including my newly licensed ordained colleague Revd Sue Martin, now have responsibility (with 10 PCCs) for all 10 churches. So if you don’t see me as often as you would like, please be patient. I promise to do my very best to serve you all with hope in my heart for the future and in God’s strength alone. 

With my blessings for a great late Spring/early Summer – we’ll get all the fetes and summer Fayres back next year!      

Reverend Judith x


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