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Monthly Letter

Dear Friends

In his letter in last month’s magazine Bishop Colin bid us ‘à Dieu’ – commending us to God. My response was to thank God for Bishop Colin. When he made his kind offer to take charge of all our services through Lent to Easter I thought he would be an excellent stop-gap early in our interregnum, but wasn’t he so much more than just a stop-gap? He provided a bridge for us as a leadership team from the uncertainty after Ruth’s departure to being ready to advertise for her successor. But not only that, he was a very effective teacher of the Gospel. Thank you Colin!

So, after we produced our ‘parish profile’ and a brochure based on it, the Diocese organised an advert in The Church Times for a dual role consisting of being our vicar and also Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations. (Details are still online - Google for Menston Church vacancy.) Remember that Ruth also held a DDO role for a few years early in her time with us.

The deadline for applications was 2 May and the plan was to do the interviews on 19 May. However, there has only been one application and the applicant could not make the planned interview date so we will be interviewing on 9 June. I ask that you pray that the applicant has the necessary qualities to be offered the job and that they accept it once offered. Otherwise we will need to restart the process which will obviously cause delay. We are assured that this scarcity of applicants is very common at the moment as there are many more vacancies than suitable candidates to fill them. This is as a result of the retirement of the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation of priests which will affect 40% of all existing clergy by 2030. We do, after all, only need one vicar! Let us hope and pray that this is the one we need.

Bishop Colin suggested that a new vicar will be looking for a sense of mission among us – to find ways of bringing the gospel of Jesus to those of little faith, and that we might find this slightly uncomfortable. Those of us who did the LYCiG (Leading Your Church into Growth) (Local) course last year will understand what this might mean – but the prize of a church growing in both numbers and depth of faith and commitment would be worth it.

Don’t we live in exciting times – even without the politics?

Roger

Roger Banister; churchwarden