Rector’s News

//Rector’s News
Rector’s News2019-10-30T10:11:20+00:00

   Curate’s Column November 2019

I cannot believe how quickly the last three years have sailed by. When I moved to Crediton, in June 2016, my curacy lay before me like the boundless ocean, but now, incredibly, it seems I have almost crossed over to the other side. Of course I did not do this alone, and I am immensely grateful for all the help and support I have been given along the way. The Reverend Nigel Guthrie was at the helm when I arrived and gave me a great start, while during the vacancy Canon Ian Morter stepped in to teach and guide me, finally I have had the good fortune to finish my curacy under the leadership of our wonderful new rector, the Reverend Matthew Tregenza. I also owe a debt of gratitude to every congregation in our benefice, who together have contributed to make my curacy happy and productive.

Highlights of my curacy include my priesting by Bishop Robert in September 2017. While I may have been deaconed in the splendour of Exeter Cathedral the year before, it is hard to top being priested in a church in the benefice where you serve, in the company of congregations you have grown to love. However there are also many other occasions that I will remember with great fondness, including the Flower Festival, Messy Church, Rogation, Harvest, and the mighty Christmas Tree Festival. What makes these events, and so many others that take place across the benefice special, is the way our church families come together and work for the good of the whole community. It is inspirational and fun. I shall never forget my beloved rag-doll, ‘Dolly’, speeding down the zip-wire from the tower of St Swithin’s, Shobrooke at the Harvest weekend, to join the great pile of brave teddies who had flown down before. Each one of whose flight had been accompanied by Fred’s excellent, deadpan and highly entertaining commentary.

My whole curacy has been marked by the kindness of others. It is no secret that during this time I have faced several family health crises, as both my sister and my father have been seriously ill. Peoples’ thoughts, prayers and actions have been a great comfort in some very difficult times, and I have seen this same kindness offered to many others. This is one of the strengths of our church communities and is a sign of God’s love in action. In John 13.35 we hear Jesus say, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Our discipleship is defined by the care we have for each other and while priests have a special responsibility for pastoral care it is not theirs alone. At Holy Cross there is an excellent pastoral care team, members of which regularly visit people in hospital and at home. In the villages too this same kindness is extended to those in need, and all of us can informally take the time and trouble to watch out for each other, help ease each other’s burdens, and provide a compassionate listening ear. It is what we are all called to.

Another form of care we are called to as Christians is the good Stewardship of Creation. At a time of global concern over our climate, I am very happy to announce that we will be running a four week course in November exploring biblical responses to the climate emergency. The materials we shall use were produced by Operation Noah, and the course is entitled Tenants of the King. We will meet in the Boniface centre on Wednesday evening from 7.30pm-9.00pm, November 6th/13th/20th/27th. If you would like to take part just put your name on the sign-up sheet on the Holy Cross magazine table.

Every year the nation unites as people in towns and villages come together for Remembrance Day services. We gather to honour the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts. This year is no exception and our civic Service of Remembrance will take place at Holy Cross at 10am on Sunday 10th November, followed at 6pm in the evening by a Requiem Eucharist.

As the nights draw in and the clocks go back, I shall be reflecting on my time at Crediton, conscious that in the New Year I will be moving on to take up my post as Vicar of Alham Vale, a group of rural parishes near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. My last services at Crediton Parish Church will be Family Communion, 9.30am, and Epiphany Carols, 6pm, on Sunday 5th January. Do please come along, I shall want to bid you all a very fond farewell.


Photographs © Bill Jerman