Vicar’s Blog June 2019

Vicar's Blog ~ June 2019

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

Dear Friends,

There isn’t much room for me in this month’s packed magazine! I don’t mind – as the American Composer John Cage once said, ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it’!

To be serious, we congratulate and welcome Annaliese Fenwick on her election as new Churchwarden and, for the second time and thank Alison Reeve for a second wonderful four-year stint, now come to its natural end. Catherine Circus continues, now halfway through her four year sentence! A new PCC has been elected, and business continues as usual, with organ project nearly completed (notwithstanding what I wrote last month!); garden wall rebuilding and Hall decoration all set to go ahead in late July and August.

But we should never forget that we are not a company, club, nor even simply a charity. We are far more than that – we are that unique body – the body of Christ - that is a church. And there is nothing else like a church. So while we conform to worldly standards in so many areas – finance, head-counting, safety, safeguarding, risk management, law – nevertheless, we are a church, first and foremost. In all we do this must come first and reflect our Christian calling, whatever the world thinks of that. Notwithstanding the necessary Electoral Roll, which rises and falls with the tide, ask a parish how many people are on their list of the sick or bereaved, ask the folk in the pub what they know or think, ask the people in the street which is their church. So it is that we can say, somewhat paradoxically, that St Mary Magdalene’s is our church, but also, simultaneously that we are the church. Both are true, and it is the concept of the family of God that unites the two. And we are led, always, by Christ, the Good Shepherd, who is the way, the truth and the life.

Last month, my brother, living in Spain, told us that he had cancer. My nephew made it out to see him, but he died the following day, a Tuesday. I flew to Spain the next day, Wednesday, arranged and took his funeral on the Thursday and brought his ashes home on Friday. I could not have done this if I had not Christ the Good Shepherd leading me through the valley of death, leading and guiding me there and back. I hope it has been, perhaps is, and always will be the case for you too.