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  • Writer's pictureSt. Mary's Webmaster

From Father Nigel

Sorry, I’m Late!

My Induction planned for May was delayed until last week for well-known reasons – but we now have visual evidence of that happy night via our church website – thanks to the determination of Rita James and the new, volunteer Communications group in particular. ‘Livestreaming’ is the new future! We also include Bishop Mike’s address in these pages for those of you who cannot access the internet and, of course, for those of you who sadly, were not ‘allowed’ to be physically present.

Liz and I are so grateful for all your prayers, cards, and gifts of welcome which are well distributed around our newly decorated Rectory. There are still box loads of books and pictures to unpack but they will have to wait. We so much want to meet new faces in these early days but we all know the restrictions and safety measures by now, hampered as we are by masks or visors.

We want to say a huge thank you to (y)our Churchwardens and retired clergy who have kept us in touch well before our move and who have worked tirelessly throughout the vacancy. Departures and arrivals are as hard for the laity as they are for clergy, emotionally and spiritually, but already, there is a great sense of anticipation in the air and that God has made this fresh start possible for all of us. One of you signed a card to me saying you were ‘just a parishioner’ and another ‘I don’t come to Church very often but…’ and I want to reassure everyone that it is the TWO PARISHES that I have come to serve and not just the ‘regular’ congregations, important as they are.

In the recent fundraiser book, ‘Dear NHS, 100 Stories to say Thank You’, I particularly appreciated the contribution by the comedic ‘celebrities’ because they understand both the seriousness and tragedy of our worldwide pandemic without giving up on our future life together. Graham Norton said this with typical Irish optimism: “I have no idea how long our current situation will last, or what life will be like in the world that comes after this, but of one thing I am confident. We will gather together again, pass plates, break bread, raise glasses. The feast will still be there to be enjoyed, because, despite our fear and our doubts, the table will hold.”

That gathering around the Lord’s Table is already happening, and I encourage you to join us this coming Sunday and/or Thursday, even if I muddle up the names and the faces! Blessings,

Fr Nigel.


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