May I first take this opportunity to thank the many of you who have congratulated me on my appointment as an Honorary Canon of Christ Church. It is the first such appointment in this benefice for over a century at least and, therefore, the first that any of us can remember. As pointed out in earlier editions, the title is honorary and no move of person (or of payment!) is made.
All is not staying the same, however. From the beginning of 1996, informally at first and then in due time formally, the two neighbouring parishes of Shutford and of Broughton with North Newington will be added to my responsibilities. The move has been welcomed by all six parishes, given the essential need for change,and I shall carry on trying to do my best among you all. With Keith Walklate’s ordination a recent further development, and with the continuing assistance of retired priests, the Sunday and weekday services should continue as before; discussions are going on about that issue.
The exciting departure will be that there will be increased involvement by lay people in the whole work of the Church; there is already much, and for that we all need to be grateful – but I see that trend increasing. We all need to begin to realise that, when a Christian person, ordained or lay, is doing anything, however small, for our benefit, that is the Church ministering among us. It’ll take a bit of getting used to, but we‘ll get the hang of it eventually.