This will be the last time (for a while at least) that I shall be responsible for this page for the Gazette. From the next edition onwards I shall be handing over to our new Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Hilary Young. In fact, I suggested that she might like to write for this edition and I include her offering below:
"Leaving this beautiful area and many wonderful people will be hard. I love the Yorkshire Dales countryside and understand some of its agricultural, economic and social issues. It takes time to make relationships and to learn a place.
And yet – there is always a 'but' with God, and the sense of being nudged out of this place and on to something else has grown to the point of understanding. A search for the right place has led to Gamlingay and its nearby villages, where the experience gained in helping parishes to work together as Christian brothers and sisters despite the instinct to preserve status quo and independence at all costs could be very helpful. I look forward with expectant hope to the new friends and work partnerships to be made, and at least we don't have to start again entirely from scratch. We are moving nearer family and to a place we are partly familiar with, Norman having been ordained in the Peterborough Diocese.
The old Chinese proverb that speaks of two fools, the one who says 'this is old it must be good' and the other who says 'this is new it must be better' is worth pondering as we make this move. Change is inevitable, and is not necessarily either good or bad, to a great extent it is what we make of it. The future is to be faced into with confidence, not necessarily in our own self-sufficiency, but in the abundant provision of a good God.
First impressions are so important, and judgements, for good or ill, once made can be difficult to change – though sadly it’s easier to lose a good reputation than to gain it. I have learned how important it is to say good things about one another, the bad things get said anyway, we need to
concentrate on the good if we are to be salt and light in the world. As Paul says in Philippians 8, let us think on all that is true, lovely, commendable .. and may God's peace be with us.
My prayer for both the places I leave and the ones I arrive in is that we all give one another time to adjust to changes. We will flourish together if we allow ourselves to listen to God in all that takes place, so that we can be Kingdom people wherever and whoever we are. It is my intention to spend a number of weeks getting to know people and understanding the issues faced in our new situation before making any significant plans. I look forward to that listening time and to the planning together that will follow.
Much love and every blessing.
I do hope that many of you will be able to attend Hilary’s Licensing and Installation which is now confirmed as being on Sunday 29 July at 10.00am at St Mary the Virgin, Gamlingay.
With best wishes to you all
Chris Miller, Reader and Churchwarden