Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

December 2013

Another general synod has come and gone - and this time there is genuinely cause for cautious and gentle optimism... No, we have not got women bishops yet, but we have inched closer and unlike 12 months ago, there was grace, humour and good will in abundance in the debating chamber. God be praised!

But as ever, that was not the only thing we discussed, whatever the impression you may have gained from the TV and news coverage. Two things in particular that have some relevance for us here in Pattingham. One was a discussion about church schools and the importance of maintaining our links with these - and community schools. And the second was a debate about 'intentional evangelism' which might sound a bit scary, but which I think will fit in beautifully with some planned developments in the New Year. I am pleased that we have a good relationship with our own village school - which is both a church and a 'community' school. And we are working on ways to improve and strengthen those links to the benefit of all.

And I am about to work with several teams of people to look at ways we can improve our preparation for families wanting to hold Christenings/Baptisms in church.

And the good news is that this does not involve anything too 'heavy' or churchy, but builds on the natural skills for hospitality and baking at which there are so many experts in the village!

Similarly, we have been thinking about the end of life too. Given that death is something that absolutely no-one can avoid, it is perhaps surprising that it is the big taboo subject for many. But does it have to be so? We have been invited to be part in a pilot project on behalf of the National Church, to get people talking and planning for this inevitable reality - not just when life is drawing to a close, but well before this, when we can discuss various options and plans in a calm and unhurried environment ... Oh, and there will be plenty of tea and cake for this too! (Now why should that not surprise anyone!) but intentional and evangelistic it will certainly be.

So alongside all the usual Christmas celebrations we ( the PCC and I) have lots of exciting plans for the New Year. 2014 beckons with all sorts of challenges and opportunities - may we all approach the new Year with energy and enthusiasm and optimism! Bring it on!
Wishing you a very, very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.