Feb 1, 2024

Rector’s Letter February 2024

written by Richard Bland

Dear friends,

I know that, strictly speaking, Advent Sunday is the beginning of the new church year, but there is much of me that feels that the months of January and February constitute the real start and the natural time for considering new plans and direction for the year ahead. Nature seems to agree with me (!) because my Acer tree by the front gate is beginning to grow the tiny promise of new leaves, the green shoots of the bluebells in front of the Rectory are beginning to show through the gravel and I begin to dream of warmer days pottering around in the garden.

It will not be long before we spot the first snowdrops – a sure sign that spring is on its way. I read recently a story which told the tale that after Eve was banished from the Garden of Eden she was so unhappy that, in order to give her comfort, an angel threw a snowflake onto the earth. Where the snowflake landed snowdrops began to grow, a symbol of new beginnings and hope.

At this time the Church too is looking forward. Lay Reps and clergy will gather with everyone else for Diocesan Synod at the end of February at which plans for the upcoming twelve months will be shared. This year time will be given to continuing the discussions about the initiative called ‘Investing in the Future’ for which the Diocese has ringfenced £750,000 to spend on new Mission proposals. Five projects have already started but now fresh ideas and suggestions are being sought. At Holy Trinity, it is around this time of the year that the Vestry and I will go away to Nunraw Abbey to talk and dream and plan for 2024.

We have much to be thankful for in Holy Trinity. We are a family who care for each other, value each other and like being together. And our faith is the reason and the bedrock of that ethos which is good. But we cannot be complacent. Jesus calls us ever onward to new places in ourselves and our community as our Scripture readings currently tell us. Within our own faith we need to continually grow and mature, which often means making time for talking with others, sharing thoughts and listening.

So as we begin a new year I wonder if you have any thoughts as to what you’d like to see happen at Holy Trinity? This might be a small thing which you have seen happening at another church. Or it could be an idea for some sort of group at Holy Trinity? Some of you may have the beginning of a desire to be involved in one of the roles within church – reading, intercessions, sidesperson? Some of you may have seen a need in our church or in our community which you feel we could do something about? If any of these light a small spark inside you, drop me an email or speak to me; and although I have learned it is not possible to do everything all at once, I also recognise that things come to fruition in God’s time which can be slower – and that’s OK!

So we move forward with optimism and hope. We continue to care for each other, welcome newcomers and invite others. And as the picture at the beginning says: For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!

with love, Liz