As this is our special two-month edition of the parish magazine, it will be my last contribution as Rector of Morecambe Parish Church. Many of you will now know that I have been appointed as Vicar of St Nicholas’, Beverley and Training Adviser to the Archdeaconry of the East Riding. My final Sunday here will be July 29, and my induction service at Beverley is on 30 August at 7-30pm.
As I explained in my sermon on Pentecost Sunday and also on my blog, I knew that after Debbie died, it would not be wise to make any big decisions for at least a year, if not two. It was important to be here to come to terms with what had happened with people who shared my sense of loss. As we got into 2018, however, I began to feel that my time here was drawing to a close. Around that time some possibilities for new posts came up, and to cut a long story short the Beverley post offered me a new start, and a job with some new aspects to it, which I look forward to engaging with.
I have been asked if my new church is Beverley Minster - it isn’t. The Minster is in the centre of the town and is the size of a cathedral. There is also St Mary’s, to the north of the market place. St Nicholas’ parish covers the most of the town on the east side of the railway line. It is a smaller congregation than MPC, and has very different challenges in terms of making connections with the community (there is no church school, for example). But there is a core of very committed people who I’m looking forward to getting to know and working with. They also said they are looking for someone musical, so I may be playing more in services!
In theory half of my working time is parish and half to the training role. The latter will include arranging training events and courses for church members, people in specific roles, as well for clergy as part of their ongoing development. There are also opportunities to help deliver some of the courses at the York school of ministry, which will certainly stretch my little brain! Keeping the two in balance will be a challenge, but I have done “dual-role” before in Coventry, so at least I know the pitfalls.
I’ll say more about leaving Morecambe later, but for now I just want to thank you all for your fellowship, prayers and support. The last 9 years has contained some very challenging times, as well as some wonderful moments of celebration and joy. Thank you for sharing that with me and the other Peatpeople.
Morecambe is a great place, and this community has character and resilience. As I said at Pentecost, I trust that God has already provided this church with what it needs for the vacancy, and that new opportunities and possibilities will come in this next chapter for you, as well as for me.
With all good wishes