In the Interregnum

ALAN WINTON gcm6th June 2022

Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Revd Alan Winton

As Rev Brian Hall’s time as Vicar of St Andrews comes to an end this month, it’s good to have this opportunity to thank him for his ministry over these last six years and to wish him and Barbara God’s blessing in retirement
The parish will now be deemed ‘vacant’ until a new vicar is instituted, and during this period responsibility for the parish rests with the churchwardens with the support of those in the parish who are licensed or have permission from the Bishop to exercise ministry. The Rural Dean of Great Yarmouth, Canon Simon Ward, is also a key point of contact and support for the parish during this period
This is a time for prayerful reflection on the needs of the parish as the Parochial Church Council think about what is needed in a new vicar. As well as that it’s important to reflect prayerfully on what the parish can offer to someone who comes to serve in Gorleston. Prayer is also crucial in asking God to help us prepare our hearts and minds to welcome and accept a new leader who will bring fresh insight and vision and take us on the next stage of our journey under God
With prayer as the basis, the PCC will then draw up a document called the Parish Profile. This is crucial in helping those considering the post to gain an understanding of the church, its people and activities, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the wider life of the parish of Gorleston
Finally, there is the business of living and working together without a vicar for however long it takes for the new appointment to be made. This can often be a time of blessing for a parish as people discover new gifts are present among them and put them to use. However, having been a bishop now for over twelve years I’ve seen enough to know that there can also be challenges, times where things don’t quite go according to plan, where frustrations can arise. In this context, I’ve often drawn on a verse from the third chapter of St Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where he advised us to “bear with one another”
Forbearance is that virtue which arises from remembering how much in need we all are of God’s grace, and that should prompt us to exercise the same graciousness in our dealings with one another, especially if things sometimes get just a little bit fraught
May God bless you in this time of transition and in the search for a new vicar

courtesy of Gorleston Community Magazine


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