I wanted to get in touch to say hello, to let you know how excited I am to be joining you sometime soon (date to be agreed), and to assure you that I’m praying for you and your families this Easter time.
I don’t think its customary for a new priest to write before they arrive, but this is definitely an extraordinary time, and so it felt right to get in contact. I pray that you and your families are well and that you continue to be so during this pandemic.
I want to thank you all for the great effort that went into my interview day. You all played your part, from Roger my chauffeur, children from Wilbury High School, those who attended the bible study, your church wardens and ministry team and finally all of you that prayed for God’s will to be done. I had a strong sense throughout the morning that God was calling me to be your new priest and I was absolutely delighted when Bishop Michael called later in the day to deliver the great news.
I know that the next couple of months will be tough, with many of you potentially having to shield yourselves due to government guidelines. This morning I listened to ‘Cornerstone’ which is one of my favourite worship songs. In it, it says ‘through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all’. Last year I visited the Holy Land, and while we stayed in Galilee I would get up each morning and sit by the lake. It was remarkably beautiful and peaceful, with hardly even a ripple visible on the water. This morning I thought about the contrast of the disciples experience when Peter, which we read in Matthew 14:22-33, got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. It says that, Peter was afraid when he saw the wind, he started to sink and he cried out ‘Lord, save me!’. In these months, lets encourage one another to fix our eyes on Jesus, let us not hesitate to call out to God when we are afraid, and as He did for Peter, let us be assured that He will catch us, because He is Lord.