It’s good to be back in harness as Vicar after my sabbatical/study leave. I have learned much, both about the subject I was studying – theology and leadership – and about myself. Being able to stand back from the benefice in a way I can’t when I’m fully immersed in its busyness has been a good source of reflection.
It’s been great that daily life in the churches has continued while I’ve been gone – and that is exactly how it should be. The work of the Church is not just the Vicar’s work but the task of everyone who has been baptised: part of my role is to help people discern what their specific ministries are and to enable them then to use their gifts for God and God’s Kingdom.
To those of you who have taken on extra responsibilities during this period of my absence – thank you! As I return to work, I hope we can look together at the areas of church life where congregations managed really well – or possibly even better – without my presence, and at how your and my time is to be best used. Perhaps there are things I did formerly that someone else is doing much better – that’s great, I don’t need to take them back. Maybe you noticed some gaps because I wasn’t there to fill them – is that where I’m needed?
As we walk together into the future, let’s be open to the changes God may bring.
With best wishes