Yes – it’s time to practice again the great art of deckchair sitting

Jane and I will be taking some time off from next week, but we think we will still be able to do ‘The Sofa Service’. Your encouragement and enthusiasm over these past few months for the Sofa Services has been such a blessing – thank you.

I’m indebted to the Ministry Team for all they have done to support us through lockdown, and I know that Sarah, Bruce, Jim and Susan will be on call whilst I’m away. 

Most of you will have heard that Revd Sarah is moving from ‘harbour to valley’ to serve the Valley Parishes of Singleton, East and West Dean. We now have official dates for her leaving – and starting! – so please can you save the dates in your diary… Sarah’s final day with Harbour Churches will be Sunday 30th August and we will be planning something special despite any restrictions that will be in place. Importantly, we all want to express our gratitude for Sarah’s time among us with a special gift. You can make your contribution by giving via online banking marking your payment “SM leaving fund” with your name to WWPCC account no. 11211013 Sort code 40.17.16.  Alternatively, please send a cheque made payable to West Wittering Parochial Church Council to Clare Blevins at Shipton Villa, Itchenor Green, PO20 7DA.  The closing date for gifting will be 19th August.

Sarah will then be licensed to her new role on September 30th. We don’t yet know how that will take place, but please keep this date in your diary and do continue to hold Revd. Sarah in your prayers.

Well – God takes away but also God gives… Many of you will have heard that we are to get a new curate! He will be well known to many of you and I’m delighted that Bishop Martin has agreed that he will be made Deacon on October 3rd.

As I mentioned in the newsletter in January, Anthony Goddard embarked on theological training in January in the hope that he would be accepted for ordination to serve in Harbour Churches.  He is training at St. Mellitus Theological College in London will finish in December. However, from October he will serve as a Deacon in Harbour Churches before being ordained priest in June.  Anthony will be part-time and self-supporting, and his specific role will be developed over the coming months.

Anthony is a guinea-pig in a new route to ordination in the Church of England designed for those with relevant and tested experience to serve as ordained ministers in rural contexts – and there is great need for such people!  It has been named the ‘Caleb Stream’ – you may recall that Caleb, aged 40’ish, spied out ‘The Promised Land’ together with Joshua and 10 others, most of whom were too frightened by the ‘giants’ who they would have to conquer.  Joshua and Caleb had to wait another 40 years before he could claim his promised land, which he did at the age of 85 with the words “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” Joshua 14.10-11

Anthony writes: ‘Whether I’m as strong and vigorous as an 85 year old Caleb, only time will tell, but I look forward to working with Jonathan and the people of Harbour Churches as, together, we look to ‘the Promised Land’ of a new and exciting post-lockdown world.’ 

Please pray for Anthony and Caroline, and for all those who are called to be ministers of the gospel.

Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; unto him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, though out all ages, world without end.                                                                            Ephesians 3. 20,21

Now where’s that deck chair…?

Trusting in His promises
Yours
Jonathan
Rector

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