The View from the (Vacant) Rectory - October 2019

Dear Friends,

October already, and you will see that the title of this article remains unchanged. Yes, the rectory remains vacant, and is likely to remain so for some time to come.

August seems a long time ago, but way back then an interview for the vacant post of Rector was held. The interview panel made an offer to the candidate but on reflection he declined, on the grounds that although he liked the parish, and all the people he had met, he felt the post did not fit with the present stage of his career. Further comment on this may be found elsewhere in the present issue of this magazine, but the stark fact remains that we will have to continue our search for a new Rector, and must renew our efforts.

"October already" I said, a moment ago, and the fact that the last issue of this magazine was a double one, covering August and September, has made the months seem to rush past even more rapidly than usual. Our vacancy has already extended over the full range of the seasons, a range which has felt particularly full this year. We seem to have experienced extremes of climate in almost every respect, with new records being constantly established and broken.

We live in a time of constant change in every sphere, perhaps most of all in that of politics, but we won't stray into that territory, especially this month. Our present situation, of being without a Rector over an ever-increasing period, is of course one aspect of that culture of change. We must remind ourselves that change is necessary to our continuing growth. This is true no less of church life than of other aspects of our lives - if we do not change, we run the risk of stagnation and atrophy.

"Yes", we may well respond, "we can perhaps accept that change is necessary, but why in this instance is it taking so long?" The answer to that question lies in the many and varied pressures experienced by the church in today's world - pressures which have changed and increased markedly within the lifetimes of all of us who count ourselves members of the church today.

But what has not changed, and will not change, is the rock-solid certainty of the presence of God, in the three persons of the Holy Trinity, above and beyond all the ebb and flow of change which surrounds us. We must have faith that that presence will continue, and will continue to support us through whatever is in store for us in the future. May that unswerving faith inform and shape all the many activities on which we embark with the arrival of October and autumn, and may it continue to inform our love of God and for one another.

Jim Pringle