Archive for February, 2016
Rev Nick Williams The Vicarage, 2 The Grange, East Malling
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Brothers and sisters in Christ, arriving in a new benefice, especially one as different from my old benefice as this one is, always gives rise to what the Chinese would doubtless term interesting times. There are uncertainties and much tip-toeing around on all sides as we all get used to working with each other in the service of the gospel of Christ . That being said, it’s a privilege to come to you as your new Vicar and a humbling experience to be called to minister in a benefice that has so many capable people who have worked hard demonstrating their skills and talents looking after the benefice for the year or so you have been in interregnum. It’s a privilege as well to take over from someone like Fr Jim who accompanied you on your journey of faith for so many years and left the benefice in such good condition and Fr Derek who has been ‘minding the shop’ together with all the other retired clergy during the interregnum. Having looked at the lists of people who have roles in the three parishes I am acutely aware of how many people there must be to thank, far too many to name individually. So please take this short message as a ‘thank you’ to all of you, with a particular and personal ‘thank you’ to all of those who have worked tirelessly in their spare time re-decorating the Vicarage. I can assure you that Mrs Williams will make good her promise to bring you cake at the very earliest opportunity!
I’m sure however that there are many of you wondering how things will change. It is after all the habit of new Vicars to change things and whilst Fr Jim and I might have been members of your long line of vicars who were police officers I’m sure that we will both have our own unique and perhaps ‘individual’ ways of doing things. Well, let me provide those of you for whom this is a worry with a small amount of reassurance, I would really like to get to know you, the benefice and the wider parishes before even thinking of changing anything. I hope you will see me out and about in the benefice and will feel confident enough to come and talk to me about your hopes, aspirations and even the little things that niggle all of us. I don’t have a monopoly on good ideas and I’m willing to ‘borrow with pride’ from each and every one of you, so come and talk or even come and dream!
It is however only fair to warn you that I do have an agenda. That agenda is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as we possibly can. Everything that we do is subordinate to that one simple calling and it should be the lamp that lights the path to the decisions we make. There will be ‘interesting times’ ahead for all of us but together I am certain we can do great things in the service of Christ, and I look forward to accompanying each of you on our journey together into the future.
Yours in Christ
Rev Nick Williams