Rector's Letter - September 2017
I hope Amberley and Box forgive me for beginning my letter with news of the re-ordering of the church at Minchinhampton, but as a benefice together who now enjoy more services and functions together, this is exciting news for all of us. It will feel, of course, terribly disruptive for the next few months, because everything is different. Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton is definitely still functioning however, even if the church part of the building is closed off, because ‘the church’ is, of course, the people who worship. We will still be doing that – Sunday 10am at the school, and everything else taking place in the Porch Room. Yes it will feel odd, and the Minchinhampton Church community will feel somewhat displaced. But I think these next few months could also be a real opportunity if we approach it in the right spirit.
But there is something here for all of us across the benefice. I’m reminded of the story of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years – a community of people taken out of their usual life and routine into a symbolic time and place where they learnt much about themselves, and they learnt who their God was. It is when we are displaced that we learn to hold onto what is most dear. Whenever we strip ourselves away from our usual habits and habitats, we discover all sorts of truths about us, our priorities and values, and as a people of faith, we learn about the God who leads us through change into a new land.
We are not intending the building works last 40 years! We should be back worshipping in the building by December, if all goes to plan. But I think we can all approach these next few months with a sense of expectation. What are we going to learn? The important aspect above all else, is that we do this journey together. Let’s be expectant, not fearful, joyful, not doubtful. And as a benefice together, Amberley, Box and Minchinhampton, reflect upon the different strengths and possibilities that our building resources and our faithful congregations offer to our wider community.
With best wishes