The news of Archbishop Rowan's resignation received headline coverage in the media and since then there has been the expected speculation about his successor. Whoever is eventually appointed will have undergone the rigorous process of selection by the Crown Nominations Committee as well as much personal soul-searching and prayer. It is an impossible job to take on and involves huge personal sacrifice.
We all have preferred styles of leadership but our prayers for those who shoulder the responsibility of discerning the right person are much needed. The Church of England is going through a period of huge change at the moment and we need a steady pair of hands at the helm.
There is much that is positive about the church both globally and locally, despite all the negative press it receives. Our ministry team went to a training day entitled 'confidence in discipleship' and we listened to a number of presentations and took part in some study and group discussion. Ifs always good to share experiences and realise that we are not isolated but share many common problems with other parishes and deaneries.
Our parish seemed to be moving in the right direction for its size and situation ie small rural churches with village communities. There is much to be done but a lot to be thankful for.
It would be good if we could increase our core group numbers of readers, intercessors and servers across the parish so that we can have more flexibility in the rotas. I am very willing to run training for anyone who would like to offer themselves in this way. It isn't as daunting as it sounds and those who already are on the rotas will, I'm sure, affirm that it is a way of increasing their own faith and sense of belonging. Do give it some prayerful thought and now is a very good time to think about it as, over the holiday months ahead, we will always want more help.
Easter will be upon us very soon and this wonderful warm and sunny weather has given us a mass of spring blossom and flowers that tell their own story of new life and growth. Lent will soon draw to a close within Holy Week but, as we move into the final day of Good Friday, the waiting time of Holy Saturday and then into the triumph and joy of Easter Day, we will have journeyed with Jesus and drawn closer to him.
Our faith in God carries us through all the dark times and reveals to us the powerful love of God for the whole of his creation. With family and friends and the world-wide church family we can sing again 'Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice'.
May I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.