Vicar's Letter


VERSE OF 2018:


 “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city”

Jeremiah 29:7 (New International Version)


 “Not the Vicar’s letter”

Dear Friends


I am thrilled to have the chance to write to you in place of the Vicar’s letter this month.  It gives me the opportunity to do two things.


Firstly, to say thank you to all the people who have welcomed and supported me in my new role of church warden.  So many caring parishioners have offered me kind words and advice whilst others have taken on practical roles in order to help me in the absence of a deputy.  I could not have kept things afloat without you all.  It has made me realise that our churches are very wealthy with volunteers and skills.  Whilst there are always more jobs to do, we are so fortunate to have such an amazing volunteer team.


I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for the contributions you make.  As they say, every little helps.  Many have also shown me kindness and encouragement as I dealt with the news that our friend Regina (a hospital doctor who is a regular at St John’s) was not able to get her Visa and could not return to the UK from India until next year.  Thank you especially to Julian for attending a meeting with me to see Alan Whitehead.  This meant a lot to Regina and me, as did all the offers to write to MPs on her behalf or to store her belongings.


Secondly, I get the chance here to tell you all a little about my role.  This is of course a sales pitch as we are always looking for more people to join the warden team.  I have had an exciting few months.  From getting permission from the council to remove a dead tree branch to calling out professionals to remove a wasp nest from the church hall.  One of my biggest and very worthwhile jobs was checking the two graveyards for any unsafe memorials.  I hadn’t expected there to be much change from last year but there were quite a few stones that had become unstable.  As usual there were willing volunteers around to help me make our church yards safe.


I have also been busy preparing for an upcoming inspection so you might at times see me around the church counting candlesticks and polishing pews and the like.

Thankfully Jim is working hard behind the scenes on our plans to install a mezzanine and now has the support of one of our own parishioners who has building trade knowledge.  Jim keeps us organised with meetings to discuss all things building and grounds related for both churches.  At the most recent meeting we discussed the Mille Monument renovations and the carpark application for St Boniface Church.  I am so pleased to be writing this after both have had successful outcomes.  I would urge anyone with an interest in history who has not seen the monument to take a trip to St Boniface Church.  They have found some fascinating things whilst preparing the vestry for the renovations.  I won’t spoil the surprises but will let the team there show you instead.


We had an unusual but very welcome venue for a very important meeting recently.  I met with a very enthusiastic team at the local pub to discuss the complete renovation of the website.  The team have some very exciting ideas so I am really looking forward to seeing how that turns out.


Thanks to our wonderful weather, I was able to take part in the May Fair Flashmob.  What a wonderfully different idea, brought to us and overseen by Carol.  Not only was this a chance for us to reach the fair’s visitors in an unusual way, but also a chance to join forces with, and meet, worshippers from other local churches.


Also, as a result of our good weather, I have recently been to a Deanery Synod meeting in Mottisfont Village hall where refreshments were served in the hall’s grounds.  I can highly recommend any meeting where we get to drink tea with one or two flapjacks in a garden party setting.


So basically, my role is making a few phone calls (calling in the waspman), going to lots of meetings at a variety of lovely or interesting venues, eating flapjacks and spending time with wonderful people.  I can highly recommend it.


I was not involved in the School Leaver’s days but I am told these went very well. We also have much to look forward to in the coming months.  From the Holiday Club to a special Bell Ringing service on November 11th, celebrating the WW1 centenary.


Can I end with a thank you to you all for the friendship and support you have shown me, which I have found invaluable.


God bless you all.