The Gazes are moving
Thanks Dear Friends
I have loved being Team Rector in the Tas Valley (Tasburgh, Tharston, Newton Flotman, Swainsthorpe, Saxlingham Nethergate and Shotesham) for over 15 years. However, I am writing because I believe that God is calling me to a new kind of ministry. I have recently been offered and accepted a post in Suffolk as the new Dean of Rural Mission Consultancy as part of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and in partnership with the charity Rural Ministries. It's a 2 year post on Bishops Staff focussed on helping congregations and individuals to listen to how God is at work in the countryside and finding ways for this to flourish. Chris, Matthew, Katie and I will therefore be moving as a family to a little village called Playford just outside Ipswich in October.
Dawn and I have already been talking and praying together about how we can use the months between now and then to help the churches to prepare for being short staffed for a bit as well as their continuing life as communities of disciples growing in Gods love. The main focus of my time in the next months will be on equipping the people who will carry forward the ministry and mission in these villages - which means all of you! I am sorry I couldnt contact all of you in person before sending this email - but I will be in touch asap. (In the mean time if you’d like a priority visit to discuss how this may affect you, please give me a ring.) I am grateful that it is likely that my role will be replaced by the diocese as so many people give generously towards paying for our clergy - but this is likely to take several months and it may be that the job is reshaped by the Diocese in some way.
It has been such a privilege to get to know many of you, share your joys and your sorrows and all the ups and downs of village life. Chris, Matthew, Katie and I will always treasure the friendship and love you have given to our whole family. We hope as many of you as possible will come to our farewell service on 29th October at 10.30am at Newton Flotman Church and to the "bring-and-share"celebration lunch afterwards at a venue tbc from 12 noon.
With my love and prayers
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