LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
As the copy is put together for our February magazines we are busy making the final plans for Luci’s licensing service on 23rd January, and by the time you read this it will have happened! New beginnings are exciting and I am sure that 2014 will be a year that is busy and full of challenges and changes. People sometimes think that the Church of England is slow to change, and for some that is frustrating, and for others exactly how it should be. All growth involves change, but just as a tree putting out new leaves has changed from what it is in the winter, or what it was last spring, so our churches can produce new life and new ways of exploring and telling the eternal and unchanging truth of God’s love.
I am leaving the rest of this letter for Luci to introduce herself to you, and I trust that you will all make her very welcome in the Hermitage Team.
Happy New Year to you and I hope that 2014 has got off to a good start, despite the soggy weather!
This is my first message in the parish magazines as I prepare to be licensed as your Team Vicar on Thursday 23rd January. I’m very much looking forward to getting to know you over the coming months.
To briefly introduce myself, I have spent the last three and half years as Curate in the United Benefice of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke. Our vicar left the benefice in June last year so the last six months have been a steep learning curve for me but also a source of valuable experience.
Prior to ordination I worked in the publishing industry; managing the production of a wide variety of titles from fine art books to children’s books with pop ups, sound chips, etc. This experience has supported my ordained ministry in a surprising number of ways, particularly when it comes to switching quickly between very different ministerial tasks. I’m afraid that my experience doesn’t include design which has been a source of disappointment to parish magazine editors!
I continued to work whilst training for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon as part of the Oxford Ministry Course. I chose to continue a programme of academic study during my curacy and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Religion and Theology last summer. My dissertation focused on the relationship between churches and their local schools so I’m very pleased to be joining a team which is so blessed with schools.
I’m now in the process of settling into a new home and surroundings. My daily dog walks are helping me to get to grips with navigating the local footpaths. Squelching through the mud, scrambling around recently fallen trees and trying to work out where I am on the OS map may be good metaphors for our journey with God and the purpose of Lent which is fast approaching. The forty days of Lent offer us an opportunity to review where we are with God. Is our path muddy and heavy-going, or is our footing firm? What might be getting in the way as we try to journey with God? Would our journey benefit for some regular direction from the Bible or reading about the lives of others who’ve travelled this way before us? Perhaps God is calling you to help someone else along a particularly difficult stage of their journey?
With every blessing,
Rev’d Luci Heyn