August has always felt rather empty to me. Neighbours are often away, schools are closed for the summer holiday, many regular activities are taking a break and our gardens are either dry and dusty or sodden and miserable, depending on the weather. Our churches press on with being the umpteenth Sunday after Trinity with no sign of the Kingdom Season, Advent or, thank goodness, Christmas.
For the churches, however, Trinity is time of growth, which is why our altar frontals and vestments are green throughout, so maybe we should be thinking about growth in all its facets.
We are all concerned with numerical growth and it’s right that we should be, because numerical growth brings new life into the churches as well as (dare I say it…. Increased income.) But large numbers don’t necessarily mean a growth in spirituality or faith, and it’s those two things which are the foundation of our life as Christians.
This is my final letter as Vicar of these parishes and I certainly don’t intend to leave by giving you a lecture, but I do suggest that, if you have any interest in the church, you make your views known to the Church Wardens (Marian Taylor, Win Peck at Ryhall, Katy Parkinson at Essendine, Leo Shead and Paul Stokes at Carlby) as they prepare to draw up parish profiles in readiness for finding a new Incumbent. Who do YOU think the churches need?
Several people have asked what will happen to the newsletter when I go. The answer is that I am happy to continue editing it until a replacement is appointed. It will then be up to him or her whether they wish to take it on or not. So keep sending me your items meantime. I will also continue to display the readings and services for the month on page 16.
Thank you to the many people who have enquired about my health, sent me cards or phoned me. Your kind thoughts are very much appreciated.
I am seeing a Consultant Neurologist on July 20th and hope to have a better idea after that of what can be done to restore some neural function in my leg, which is numb, inhibiting walking without assistance, causing falls and pain. Added to this I now have a leg is plaster following yet another fall!
So I wish you all every blessing as our churches move to next stage of their life.