Rev'd Karen - June 2022

The Vicar’s Light Reflections

Light Reflections… “Let your light shine…” (Matthew 5.16)

Last month, I reflected on the themes of new life, hope and renewal and will continue to contemplate what this means for us as a United Benefice (UB). June is continuing the celebrations following Easter and Ascension Day, as we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit in power upon the disciples and believers, the birthday of the church. It was this gift of the Spirit of God which enabled and emboldened the disciples to go and tell the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit living in us as followers of Jesus that is our advocate, comforter, and teacher; the power of God abiding in us. Jesus is therefore always with us, closer than we can ever imagine. Pentecost is also the day that we will be holding at St Mary’s, Mellor at 9.30 am, a Thanksgiving Service to Celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, together with the many other events happening in our churches and local communities, and across the country over that Bank Holiday weekend.

As we look back as a nation over the last 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and celebrate and give thanks for her selfless service and dedication to her country; I, in a very small way, now look back over the last 12 months since I was inducted as Vicar of the UB. For this month marks the milestone of my first year here. I write this reflection at the end of a very busy week where our three parishes have each held their Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs). In my Vicar reports at those meetings, I reflected that much has been achieved in a relatively short period of time across the Benefice. Some of the key priorities from the UB Parish Profile when I took up this post were: Greater cooperation within the UB, Stewardship, Golden Opportunity Services, Church Administrator; and of key importance to me, developing our prayer life and understanding of scripture. I do not have the space here to go into detail, but in all these areas great strides have been made. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who works so tirelessly for our wonderful churches and UB, often behind the scenes. Church is the Body of Christ to which we are all members of, working together, each bringing our own gifts and talents to serve God and to serve others. I also want to take this opportunity to say what an absolute privilege and a pleasure it has been these last 12 months to be here serving you: myself and my family simply love being here.

As we now look ahead to the next 12 months, there is much to do and as I have set out at the APCMS, our vision and priority continues to be fostering Greater Cooperation within the UB. This is happening already in many ways; but the key area we will be looking at to drive forward will be around the structure of our 3 Parochial Church Councils (PCCs); to work jointly across shared priorities to improve our effectiveness and efficiency in ministry and mission. I will leave you with a piece of scripture that I believe God wants us to take to heart, to have trust in Him as He works His purposes out for our Benefice. “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)

Blessings, Rev’d Karen

Christ Centered...Kingdom Focused