Dear friends and neighbours,

Welcome to Summer! I’m writing in mid-May, with the sun shining brightly and a gentle breeze, and it feels like Summer already. Let’s hope it’s a glorious one for all of us.

Two months ago I wrote about the churches’ plans for Easter, and I must say we were very well served by our Archdeacon, Janet Mackenzie. She had wanted to share our “Easter Journey” with us, as a way of getting to know two of the 136 parishes she has under her authority. She started at St. Margaret’s and then joined the Palm Sunday Procession to St. Giles. She led and read alternately at Compline on the next three nights. She took the special Mass on Maundy Thursday, insisting that she washed everyone’s feet, not just the odd Churchwarden, and then kept Vigil until midnight. Back again on Good Friday for the three hour Meditation at St. Margaret’s, followed by the Black Horse Sermon in the evening. And she finished off with the major Easter Eve Service of Light and renewal of Baptismal Vows, and the Easter Day Family Services at both churches. Quite a marathon for a visitor, coming from and returning to Herford each time!

But it wasn’t just that she came. So did rather more worshippers than in past years, and Archdeacon Janet’s manner was so warm and welcoming that it left us wanting more! Thank you, Archdeacon, from all of us.

The following Sundays of Easter have seen the return of old friends to take services, and to share their insights into Scripture and Faith with us, including a memorable homily about sheep, and how worthy of respect they are, unlike their stereotypical image as meek and silly. Mind you, Iain Lane comes from a Yorkshire moorland town, so he knows a thing or two about sheep.

We have no news of any replacement for Karen as Vicar, so we continue to pray for someone to take up her ministry. And meanwhile we have priests booked to take all the services at both churches till after Christmas, in case we are still in Vacancy by then. So St. Margaret’s and St. Giles are very much alive and flourishing, open every Sunday for worship, and (St. Giles) every Tuesday afternoon for tea and good company: both excellent ways of “doing God”.

With my best wishes,
William Marsterson, Churchwarden, St. Giles