I recently had some work done in the house, and, as usual, was in and out a great deal, as clergy usually are, or else working at my desk, which also takes up a lot of time. On day 3 the puzzled workman asked me, quite seriously, what I did during the week. I explained that school assembly, visits, services, meetings etc. tend to occupy quite a lot of my week. He looked surprised; like a lot of people, he genuinely thought that we work only on Sundays.
When I first came here, I was rash enough to ask to be told of anyone who might like a visit. I was immediately taken to task by an anonymous Glenside reader, who told me I should not expect people to do this, but that I should be seeking out the needy myself. What that reader did not, perhaps, know, is that my contract here is for 2 days a week plus Sundays. Visiting every house in the 7 villages on 2 days a week is not exactly realistic – and most people are not at home during the day, anyway. All I can say is that I have done my best!
And now the time has come to move on. In September, I shall become the Priest-in-Charge of Great and Little Casterton with Pickworth and Tickencote; not far away, but very different in character, and with particular needs and challenges.
I shall miss these lovely villages very much, but feel the churches are in good heart, and can look to the future with confidence. So thank you all for letting me be a part of your community for the past four years.
And church life goes on, of course. On St.James’ day, July 26th. Castle Bytham PCC invites all who have supported us in any way, financially, by doing jobs around the church and churchyard, by attending concerts and functions, to join us for a drink after our 10.30 service, which finishes around 11.00. You are even more welcome to come to the service, of course!
The Open gardens project seems to have bitten the dust, with virtually no offers of gardens. The need for ever greater security is, sadly, a major factor, and one which we fully understand.
May saw the funeral of Gary Jones, who died suddenly just after Easter. Our sympathy goes to Gill and the family. But on a happier note, it also saw the Confirmation of three candidates from Castle Bytham. In June we shall baptise Rebecca and Morgan Holmes at Little Bytham, with a number of other Baptisms to come in July and August.
Visitors to Little Bytham church will have noticed that the seat in the churchyard has been restored, and looks beautiful. Thanks to Jonathan and his Bytham Engineers for this, and several other repair jobs.
Don’t forget Songs of Praise after the Midsummer Fair. If you would like a favourite hymn included, let me know.
With every good wish
Added : 19/05/09 : MG