Dear Friends and Neighbours,

We said a warm farewell to Revd. Karen Turner, our Vicar for the last three years, who has sadly had to resign, due to poor health. We presented her with flowers and gifts at a Tea Party in St. Giles Church on Sunday, and her friends at St. Margaret’s made their presentation in the morning. Churchwarden Mark Edwards expressed our feelings warmly and wittily, and we ate a truly sumptuous tea. Finally Karen led us in a simple service of Evening Worship, with four of her favourite hymns.

So what happens now? I have heard it said that the church will close till a new Vicar comes. That’s so far from the truth!!! Mark and I at St. Giles, and Pat, Doug, Peter and David at St. Margaret’s carry on business as usual. We have arranged for Priests and Readers to take nearly every service for the next eight months (there are now only 7 more slots to fill next year). We have Mother Brenda returning to take services on Christmas Day at both churches. Revd. Diane Clark is taking some ten services over the period, as is Revd. Iain Lane. We have Canons from the Abbey, and the Dean, Jeffrey John. We have the Archdeacon of Hertford, Janet Mackenzie, doing all our Easter service, including the Black Horse Sermon. Other old friends are taking services here and there, together with some new faces to our Benefice, introduced by Revd. Karen, and also two of Pat Legerton’s friends. So we are very well covered: it is, as I say, very much “business as usual”.

Do please come along to whichever church you please, and try out these unfamiliar Priests and Preachers. I can recommend Iain Lane, in particular: thoughtful underneath, but the imitation of West Yorkshire prudery two weeks ago, in a genuine Bradford accent, was superb. Richard Osborn (now a Lay Canon, many congratulations) from St. Mary’s led a very dignified Remembrance Sunday. All our helpers from other parishes have their own distinctive voice, and we look forward to a new variety in worship.

And on the social side, Tuesday afternoon tea is at 2.00 -5.00 every week. We look forward to seeing old friends, and making new ones, at all these events.

May God Bless us all now and always,

William Marsterson, Churchwarden, St. Giles