The Curate’s Column:

Parish News March 2018

Here we are at the beginning of Lent, a season kept by the church from the third century onwards. It is a time of sober preparation for the coming joy of Easter, a time to pray and reflect, to deepen our relationship with God, and to affirm our commitment to him through our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of you will have joined one of our Lent groups, or chosen a course of devotional prayer and reading to do at home, either by yourself or with a friend.Traditionally we give up things for Lent, some may forgo chocolate, sweets or cake, and others their favourite tipple. As we turn away from these earthly comforts we look towards a living relationship with God, and the fullness of life only he can bring. We can of course take up things for Lent too. Mindful of those living in poverty we might choose to include more fair-trade products in our weekly shop, or to put something nutritious in our basket to donate to the local Foodbank. We might decide to pass on what we have saved on our favourite treats to a good cause. Where money is tight we can give of our time, offering a helping hand or a listening ear to someone in need. Even a kind word and a smile can make all the difference to someone’s day. Everyone has something to give.


During Lent Christians remember Christ’s time in the wilderness. When reflecting on this I was struck how for a Parish in vacancy, there is also a wilderness dimension, and that therefore Lent may be especially poignant and productive for us this year. Poignant because with Nigel Guthrie’s move to a new Parish there is a very real sense of loss. In Nigel we were blessed with a very fine Rector, and it is right and proper that we should miss him. In such a time of transition it is only natural, that for a while, we may feel a little sad and bewildered. Yet it is a productive time too, for just as we have given up Nigel, we have taken up the challenge of growing through our vacancy.

Our wonderful Church Wardens and retired clergy have taken on much of the extra load, but they are not alone. Right across the congregation people have been extremely generous in offering their time, skills, gifts and prayers to keep the show on the road. By working together in this collaborative fashion we are well on the way to having a very healthy church vacancy. One in which we faithfully reflect the values of Bishop Robert’s vision for our diocese, a vacancy during which we continue to grow in prayer, reach out to make new disciples, and serve not only ours we  church family but the wider community too with joy.

For those wishing to deepen their prayer life this Lent I recommend our reflective Benefice Quiet Day, which will be held on Thursday, 22nd March at Shobrooke Park. Spaces are limited so booking in advance is advisable. Please contact Clare Shelly on 01363 775153 to ensure a place.

If you feel God is calling you to pray with others on matters relating to the vacancy, the Vacancy Prayer Group will be meeting on the second and fourth Friday of the month at the home of Revds David and Jenny Francis, East Forches, Alexandra Road, Crediton. If you plan to attend, it would be helpful if you could let David and Jenny know on 01363 776606.

The Chalice Assistants Team is looking for additional members to administer the wine at our Parish Communion services. If you feel that this ministry might be something you are called to, please contact me, The Rev. Helen Drever, on the number below.

Finally the Messy Church Team is looking for a volunteer to put up posters around Crediton in the fortnight before each Messy Church again please contact Rev. Helen Drever on 01363 772058.

May God bless you with a peaceful, prayerful, and spiritually nourishing Lent journey this year.

Kind regards,

Revd. Helen Drever

Photos © Bill Jerman