"I’m currently sat in a home decreasing in homeliness. The walls are bare and I’m surrounded by more and more space as the days progress. Familiar items are disappearing, packed into boxes marked ‘Living Room stuff’, ‘Toys, various, need sorting’ and ‘Thurible, Church stuff’, but mostly ‘Books’.
By the time these words are read, my family and I will have moved to Great Barton, and I will have been the Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston for a whole month. Finally, I’ll be able to do those things I’ve been looking forward to – giving these new hiking boots a wearing in, enjoy a pub lunch, make a start on chopping firewood for next year and settling the children in to village life.
Above all though, I’m looking forward to being amongst the people of Thurston and Great Barton. Being the person you see at Christmas time, at the Carol Concert or the Crib Service. Or at Midnight Mass. Being the person who remembers with you those who fought and died for our country on Remembrance Sunday. Being the person who welcomes your children or grandchildren into God’s family with you with oil, water and light. Being the person who helps you celebrate your love for each other. Being the person who commends your soul to God, and holds your loved ones when they grieve. Being the person who listens to you, when you’re doing well, when you’re doing not so well, when you’re not sure where else to turn. Being the person who can help you be part of something bigger than yourself, bigger than anyone or anything. Being the person who helps you to find the still, small voice of God inside you, loving you, to the end of time and beyond. Being a light bringer. Being a uniter. Being a member of your churches. Being your priest.
Because Holy Innocents Church Great Barton & St Peter’s Church Thurston are your churches. They are your place to be, your communities to join, to support, to stand with as we set about doing the work of God in this place. To love the people that we live amongst, to help you flourish in life, to pray for you, celebrate with you, lament with you and love with you.
Whenever you need us - need God who works through us – our churches will respond as best we can to your call.
Every one of you.
ALL of you.
Because the box marked ‘Church Stuff’ is full of things for you. And you’re welcome to unpack it when you need it."