Vicar's pastoral letter to the parish
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On this 75th anniversary of VE Day, we recall and give thanks and honour to a past generation who sacrificed much to give many peoples freedoms and a future. I trust and pray that your own enjoyment of a Public Holiday, today, will include both time for your own refreshment, and also some opportunity to reflect upon those past achievements that have so shaped our subsequent blessings.
Such an anniversary can serve to remind us of the seasons of our lives, and of the inheritances we both receive and pass along between the generations.
I write today to let you know about a decision of my own, about passing of inheritance.
I moved to Walthamstow at the beginning of 2012, and have now served the parish of St Peter-in-the-Forest as your Vicar for over 8 years. During each moment of those years, it has been a blessing to seek to serve and lead the parish: I have, with you, been an inheritor of what has gone before; what I have contributed will be a part of the inheritance for those who come after.
I have decided that my tenure as your Vicar will draw to a close in the early autumn, this year.
I will be stepping away from the servant leadership of the parish of St Peter-in-the-Forest, upon completion of the building phase of our exciting project, ‘St Peter’s: A Unique Forest Church’, with the blessing and support of our Bishop and local Archdeacon.
[According to our project plan, we are on track to complete that building phase during September 2020, and we can hope to repopulate our refreshed worship space, café, community room and churchyard ahead of a formal re-opening with the Bishop, on St Francis’ Day (Sunday 4 October 2020). The worship and other events of that day will mark my last formal offering of service to the parish.]
As I step away, I will do so in gratitude for many blessings, not least for what we have achieved to this significant point, in conserving and transforming our inheritance in our precious space in the Forest, to provide an inheritance of service and community blessing to folk in many generations to come.
As I depart for another season of my life in Christian ministry and service, I can let you know that I am also deeply blessed in entering into a joyful prospect in my personal, domestic life. I am delighted to have found love and kindness in a lovely woman, Carole. We are now betrothed, and hope to be married, soon after my departure from Walthamstow, making a new home together.
I will continue to pray blessings for all of you in this wonderful parish and community, and ask that you pray for me and mine, also. Many thanks. Go well, Fr Paul