From the Vicarage September 2020
As Government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 continue to impact on our churches and communities, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone for all you are doing as members of the Church during these challenging times. It is very encouraging to know of many acts of care, concern, and support for one other and for our communities at this time.
We continue to review our patterns of worship and private prayer in all our four churches, and to follow Diocesan guidelines and update our risk assessments, as best we can, to be COVID secure. Alongside this, I have been working with our schools to see how best we can maintain a strong presence in the months that lie ahead. Whilst it has been possible for me to record video messages for our schools since March, new ways of maintaining collective worship and pastoral care at St.Peter’s and St.Rumon’s, and of providing Chaplaincy at Mount Kelly, will be tried this month as the schools seek to re-open fully. Also, conversations with the Town Council regarding Remembrance Day and other community events/services remain on-going as much uncertainty remains about what may, or may not be, possible later this year.
Since March a tremendous amount of hard work involving TEAM & ZOOM meetings, at a parish, deanery, and diocesan level, has been taking place, often behind the scenes, to address the issues presented by COVID-19, and I thank all those involved. I would also like to thank our Standing Committee, Finance Committee, and all our Parochial Council Councils for embracing new ways of working to deal with the challenges we are facing.
New Priests, Deacons and Lay Workers
During September a number of new priests and deacons are being ordained in the diocese. It is always very exciting and humbling to be involved with ordinations when those who have been exploring, and sometimes struggling with their sense of vocation for many years, take an important step on the journey of discipleship. It is also hugely encouraging to see new ministry emerge alongside existing ministry. As Rosie Illingworth and Hazel Butland are ordained deacons to serve in our benefice we should all be encouraged to take this opportunity to consider what our calling might be.
We also welcome Fiona Lang who begins her part-time post as our “Children and Family Worker” this month, and in October, Liz Bastin who will be joining us as a licensed Reader. Fiona’s role is to reach out to the new families that will come into the parish area as a result of the current housing developments in Tavistock. By supporting and strengthening current initiatives for children and families at St Eustachius’ Church, Fiona will seek to identify new mission and faith opportunities with this age group and help develop new worship for young people and families.
We are, of course, all disciples and the exploration, discovery, and nurturing of new gifts and abilities to further God’s work is something that we can all celebrate and rejoice in. It’s not always clear or obvious how we can best exercise and enable our own ministry, however, as we have seen over the last few months, each of us has a ministry and a calling to offer from God. It is very encouraging to see so much being done and so many being ordained in our Diocese this year, and to welcome new ministries in our midst. It is a real sign of hope for the future.
I pray that all we seek to do in God’s name will blossom and flourish.
Please continue to stay safe and well.
With my love and prayers.