Viewpoint from Rev Tim Thompson 25/9/09
Rector of Caister
The important thing about the Church of England is that it should be just what it says on the packet, t
he church of Christ reaching out to and available to everyone in England. That means that, as Rector of Caister, looking after the parish church and its services is only part of my responsibilities. The other part of it is being alongside and working with the community in Caister as a whole. So for example, I am a governor of both the High School and the Junior School in Caister and I am a trustee of the Chaplaincy Project at the Great Yarmouth College, because that is where more than half the youngsters of Caister go when they leave school.
But Caister is best known for its lifeboat and all the time I have been in the village I have found myself working with the lifeboat men. Over the years we have had some wonderful lifeboat services in the parish church but we have also had some even more exciting services in the lifeboat shed.
Many years ago I was invited to be their chaplain. Not quite so long ago I was elected as one of their trustees and for the last few years I have been vice chairman. It has meant that I have participated in many aspects of the work of a lifeboat station from helping sweep up t
he sand in the shed to shaking a collecting box outside a supermarket.
Whent he lifeboat is asked to scatter ashes at sea, I go out with the boat to say the prayers and I stay aboard for the lifeboat exercise which follows. It is wonderful to see young men striving to improve their handling of the lifeboat, who I first met as pupils in Caister Middle School.
They work so they are always prepared to turn out when called; soetimes to rescue those in peril, more often to spend cold and fruitless hours searching for someone or something which cannot be found.
Sometimes I am called upon to share the sacraments with them and to pray on their behalf, in fact to be their priest. But that is only because I have been with them in their work, week by week.
My role is to be there to get involved in the big issues and the small; to give support and to help everyone see the hand of God in all their work.