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
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!
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.
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.