First of all I hope you had a good Christmas and a restful time over the change of year – welcome to 2014 !
By now Simon has begun his sabbatical/study leave which will last until the end of Lent. We shall pray for him as he pauses to take stock of his ministry and to enjoy some real rest and recreation time.
January is not a busy time of year in the Church’s calendar, but I wanted to use this opportunity to draw your attention to things that are happening in the not too distant future:
1. On Sunday 12 January our Area Dean, Revd Geoffrey Owen from Christ Church Battersea, will be taking both morning services while I go to Christ Church to take their morning Eucharist. Then in the evening there is Choral Evensong here, during which we shall commemorate the life of Jack State in word and prayer. Please do come and honour Jack’s life and service to our community. Elsewhere in this newsletter there is a message from Jack’s twin sister Vi, who we hope will be able to come to the service.
2. On the first Sunday in February we will welcome Canon Dr Stephen Hance, the new Canon Missioner at Southwark Cathedral, who will be taking both morning services.
3. Looking ahead to Lent there will be a pre-Lent Quiet Day on Saturday 1 March at St Michael’s Convent, Ham Common, from 10.00 to 4.00. A sign-up sheet will be on the noticeboard shortly, and please bear in mind there will be a limited number of places available.
4. Lent Groups and Talks – we will be doing another York Course this year, called “Build on the Rock: Faith, Doubt and Jesus”, and there will be at least four groups to choose from. On Sunday evenings we are planning a series on Anglican Streams of Spirituality, ranging from Anglo-Catholic to Charismatic. More about this later.
5. The St Mary’s Men’s Group is planning to expand its activities in 2014, to make its meetings more frequent and to cater for those who would like a greater emphasis on Bible study – more about this in next month’s newsletter.
Finally, during Simon’s sabbatical I am extending my days of availability to Sunday to Thursday. I am not available on Fridays and Saturdays, except of course in an emergency.