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SWITM June Parish Letter 2019

Dear friends,

Well doesn’t time fly? we will be off to the Cathedral this month a year after the ordinations of Reverend Kay Palmer and Reverend Mervyn Dye to the diaconate to be with them for their priesting on the 29th June.

If we can all hold them both in prayer at this transitional period in their vocations, both those who will attend and also those unable to attend this service as we wish them well in their new ministries.

At the time of writing this article, all new incumbents which includes myself, have been preparing for a “new posts conference” which will take place at Belsey Bridge Conference centre where we shall all be giving our own presentation regarding the new posts we are in.

Whilst compiling this presentation it really brings home just how big our single parish with its three churches in SWITM really is, the map of the area I’m using (a copy of which is on the parish office wall) when looked at can be both daunting and inspiring at the same time.

At the last PCC meeting, Rob spoke about SWITM and how it covers around one third of the population of Ipswich and one quarter of the land mass which makes up the Archdeaconry of Ipswich in the coming months and years we will all have our part to play as the “Inspiring Ipswich” aims of Communicating the Good news and in the growing of new disciples takes off.

With its aim that by 2025, it is hoped to have a further 1,500 new Christian disciples coming forward in Ipswich and as our coverage is one third of the population many of these new Christian disciples will be part of SWITM.

As you know our new Archdeacon for Ipswich Rhiannon King has been appointed and will have a major leadership role in the project along with a team of staff employed through the StrategiC Development Funding from the national church, so there is much to look forward to in the future in the way of mission and ministry for us all to participate in ..

With not only the June flowers around us at this time of year blooming, but also the opportunity to be part of the fresh expressions and possible church plants that will also bloom and flourish as we move forward.

But, in amongst all this activity it is important for us all to take time out as summer approaches to spend relaxing in God’s company a walk in the countryside or park, can give us time to reflect on our own Christian journeys. To assess where the Spirit is leading us aSpirit is leading us at this time of change and yes challenge. I’ve always found it helpful when faced with a new challenge to hand it over to God in prayer, for we can all get so caught up in the here and now that it easy to forget we can do nothing without the God who created us, who leads, guides and loves us as we meet with him on our pilgrim pathways. Remembering all he has done for us al- ready through Jesus on the cross and in the resurrection.

That no matter what the size of the task that lays ahead I’m reminded of an anonymous piece of writing in the cover of an old book of mine it says “we are all made in his image, not in shape, not in intelligence, not in eyes or ears, not in hands or feet, but in this total inwardness. in here is the image of God. It isn’t the devil in humanity that makes us lonely creatures, it’s the Godlikeness. It’s the fullness of the good that can’t get out, or can’t find its proper “Other Place” that makes for this loneliness”

Don’t let those whom you meet or those around you be lonely creatures let them see your faith in word and deed, let them see the kingdom of heaven here on earth. Amen

Love and Blessing Julian