Thought for the month

The Rector writes:

As this is the combined July/August issue, the time for writing my last Link piece has come round sooner than I’d like. It will seem very strange, after writing every month for 16 years, no longer to have the same deadline! 

When I came here, although I’d had experience in rural churches, I’d not been an incumbent before. So first I want to thank you for your patience and graciousness in putting up with my bright ideas that weren’t so good, and my mistakes! 

And thank you to those of you who’ve supported, and helped with, all the things I’ve started over the years - they may not have continued, but that’s the nature of small villages, and they were no less valuable for that - the toddler, youth and children’s groups, special occasional services, craft and music events, prayer groups, Messy church, lent courses, preparation and planning groups, and study groups. 

Thank you for your help in practical ways too - the lifts to garages, help with the garden and rescue from large insects with too many legs. 

I’m going to miss each of the villages and churches. They’re all different, with individual challenges and strengths, and I have memories of special occasions in each of them that I will treasure - children bringing decorated eggs to Easter services, Tenebrae on Good Friday, handbell ringing at carol services, packed crib services, Rogation walks, Pimms & Hymns...Not to mention Jubilee celebrations, sloe gin competitions, wallops, carol singing, animal encounters, farm visits...

One thing which is the same in each parish is that there are just 2 or 3 people who keep the show on the road. Their commitment means things happen, but I’ve seen how much time they invest, and how disheartening that sometimes is. So I’d like to ask you not only to appreciate the church in your village and turn up, but to give a little more support than in the past. It was my full-time job and I never managed to do all that needed to be done. So in the period - which may be a while - there’s no Rector, those keeping things going need some extra help, and if you don’t offer it, who is going to? 

I’m glad I won’t be moving too far away so I hope I’ll still see some of you from time to time. I’ll miss you, and I’ll pray for you, as I’m thankful that you’ve been part of my spiritual journey, as I hope I’ve been part of yours. 

Revd Liz Simpson