Page 3 - 4 May Final
P. 3


                           ‘To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune;
                           to lose both looks like carelessness.’ So wrote Oscar
                           Wilde. What would he say if we told him we have lost
                           two clergy in six months!
                           In September we said goodbye to our vicar, Charles
                           Overton. Last month we said farewell to our curate,
                           Ben Topham, as he moved on after three years with
                           us to his new post at St James, Gerrards Cross.
                           Were we careless to lose two people from our church
leadership team in the space of a few months? Of course not: it is the cycle
of parish life. Counterbalancing this is the good news that our new vicar,
John Goodman, joins us in early July. We are thrilled to welcome John and
his family and wish them a very happy and blessed time.
These changes give us an opportunity to pause and look to the future. We
do so with a sense of gratitude to God for the past and the present. New
housing means we live in a growing area, and the variety of what we offer
in our three churches means we are a growing parish. We are delighted to
welcome many newcomers to our midst, but we also value strongly those
who have served this church and community over many years. I write this
on Easter Sunday evening after a series of wonderful services throughout
Holy Week culminating in beautiful Eucharist services at the Parish Church,
All Saints’ and St Paul’s today. We are blessed with a richness and
diversity in who we are and what we do.
On behalf of the whole staff team and wardens may I thank the many
people who work hard to keep the parish so vibrant in many, different
ways, too numerous to name. John Goodman inherits a parish dedicated
in Christian service as we seek to build the Kingdom of God together.
Our parish has been strongly shaped by Christian witness for over a
thousand years and will be for very many years to come.
May I make two suggestions as we prepare for John’s arrival. The first is
that we continue to make prayer central to everything we do. There are
many ways of doing so: in our personal daily devotions; in our worship
services; through our prayer ministry team; as we meet together socially
with fellow church members; and more. Let us devote ourselves more
keenly to prayer. John Wesley, who led the great 18th century revival,
wrote: ‘God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.’
E M Bounds, a well-known writer on prayer, says: ‘Our praying needs to
be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency
which will not be denied, and a courage which never fails.’

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