Thoughts soon after arrival in the Benefice!
As I write, we’ll have been living in the vicarage at Brancaster for just over two weeks. We’ve got to know some of the villagers and are enjoying all the beautiful walks from the doorstep and the pinks, blues, reds and oranges of the amazing sunsets.
It’s been an interesting time moving to a new house during the busiest week of the year work wise, the week before Christmas, and during a global pandemic! Slowly boxes are getting unpacked and we are finding a home for things. It’s also been a good opportunity to have a good clear out!
This is an area we know well as we’ve camped many times in our campervan at Burnham Deepdale or Sandringham. My campervan is easily recognisable as my husband and 3 daughters got me a special number plate when I got ordained:
X (I’m generation ‘X’, or it could be the cross on its side or a kiss, the kiss of peace)
70 (the year of my birth) and
Rev (for becoming Reverend, something I never imagined would happen, but that’s another story)
The other thing I like whizzing around on is my electric bike. You’ll see me coming in my fluorescent yellow helmet!
For many years I’ve felt the call to rural ministry and have a passion for farming and all that farmers do for us. They are very much key workers at the moment, another group of unsung heroes that are working tirelessly to support the country in these challenging times. As we’ve driven along the A17 from our previous home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, I’ve watched the farm workers in all weathers, but really feel for them when its wet, frosty or snowy. It’s made me appreciate even more every mouthful of food I put in my mouth. I think one good thing that’s come out of this difficult year is that folk have developed an attitude of gratitude for the many good things we are privileged to enjoy.
I’m hoping to get to know people more once I begin work after my licensing on 25th January. It’s looking like that will be on Zoom now rather than in a church building. I didn’t even know what Zoom was back in March 2020! But ‘church’ isn’t a building, it’s the people, and whilst things have looked different, ‘church’ for me has still been happening, just in a different way. Indeed, 2020 gave me opportunity to exercise my creative side. I’ve always said that you can’t put God in a box, so being able to minister differently and creatively has allowed people to engage with ‘church’ who perhaps might not have otherwise.
If you see me out and about, do stop and say a ‘socially instanced hello’. It’ll be another challenge starting a new job in these strange times we find ourselves adjusting to, but I have had a real sense of peace about such a big move to minister in this place. That tells me that God has me where He wants and needs me, so ‘all will be well’ as St Julian of Norwich put it so well all those many years ago.
Remember to stay safe with “hands, face, space” and most importantly, grace!
Team Vicar of the Hunstanton and Saxon Shore Benefice