Letters from the Vicar

Letter from the Vicar – February 2024


In the Church’s calendar,  this month usually opens with the feast of Candlemas on the 2nd February. However, Easter falls very early this Year on the  31st March, so we celebrated Candlemas earlier on the Sunday before- 28th January.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which this year falls awkwardly on the 14th February, in acknowledgement of which the service will be at 11.0am at Wanstrow, leaving the evening free for those for whom St. Valentines Day is a special occasion! During Lent the Home groups will be continuing  with the evening Bible course, but there will also be a daytime Lent course starting on Wednesday 21st February at 11.30am at Dallimore Mead, when, on this occasion, we will finish at 12.30am for a Lent lunch. We shall be studying Tom Wright’s book, ‘Lent and Easter for Everyone’.  (It won’t be necessary to buy this book, but if you’d like a copy, I have a small discount with Eden books!).
If anyone would like to host a subsequent Lent lunch, either at home or Dallimore Mead, please let me know.

After Easter, there follows our series of Annual Parochial Church meetings; details will follow, but Postlebury is on the 9th April, Leigh on Mendip on the 23rd April, and Stoke St. Michael  on the 30th  April.

Having written to Bishop Michael and the Church Commissioners, I take this opportunity to announce officially what many of you have known for some time, that I will be retiring from fulltime stipendiary ministry and leaving these parishes in June of this year to move to Herefordshire.
After a tricky start, and with the support of Christine, I have enjoyed much of the last twelve and a half years of ministry here. But looking after eight churches is a heavy burden- one which I couldn’t have managed at all without good churchwardens and PCC members, and the provision of an increasingly essential administrator.

Nevertheless, general tiredness and the emergence of one or two minor medical issues provide a periodic reminder that I’m less and less ‘fighting fit,’ (the ex-military will know what I mean!), and this year would be a good year for both Christine and I to retire. There will be an opportunity to say a formal goodbye at a last Combined Benefice service, which is provisionally planned for 26th May -Trinity Sunday. Until then, there is still much to look forward to!

With all good wishes and every blessing,   Fr. Anthony

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