Life has taken on a new meaning since 24th June; Ive gone from being "Mr" Hambling to "Reverend" Hambling. Although I hope that my personality hasnt changed (only my family and friends can tell you that), the way the world now looks at me and I at the world as a minister of religion is different or is it? For a start there are the lists. At college, I was sacristan or verger; it was my job to prepare the church for services, compile rotas for the servers and officiants, and wash and iron the linen (dont get any ideas about that here!) My other job was college bar manager, the biggest stress being to make sure that the gin didnt run out, or else face angry ordinands (something similar could be said here if the pubs ran out of Stella). Oh, and then there were the studies (the real reason I went to college), the place-ments, the student committee, and meetings upon meetings.
College was a busy place to be and the support of friends was vital. We used to complain about not having enough hours in the day and about the lists! So what has changed? Well, not a lot really, as there still arent enough hours in the day, there are even more lists and meetings, and the training continues. Its too easy to forget that a curacy is part of my training and I still have a lot to learn (not least everyones name so keep reminding me and forgive me if I keep asking you).
Theres never a dull moment in the parish, especially in the parish office just ask Heather and Susie, who have to put up with the Rector and me. Support for each other is vital and by that I mean all of us, not just the clergy. College is about being part of a community, just like parish life with all its ups and downs. I have been privileged to get to know some of you and I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible over the next three years. So thank you for the support you have shown me during my first few months here, and long may we continue to support each other.
Its hard not to shout about our new website, www.stmaryswoodbridge.org. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of congregation member John Wright, we now have a church site that is arguably one of the slickest around, with easy access to information on everything from services and church events to an electronic version of Outlook. Whats more, if youve never visited St Marys or if you want to be reminded of the last time you went, why not try our new virtual tour? Its been given to us free of charge by Brian Luke of TBL Virtual Living, allowing the visitor a mouse-controlled walk through the church, starting outside before moving inside to cover key points of interest.
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