A new appointment for Vanessa
I'm writing to let you know that after 4 fruitful years of ministry here, Vanessa has been appointed by Bishop Martin as the residentiary Canon Treasurer at Chichester Cathedral. He has asked her to join a new team of clergy who are based at the Cathedral for a renewed vision of worship, teaching, mission and evangelism. I am not surprised, as it is a role that will perfectly suit Vanessa's gifts and experience.
But, of course, that will leave us with a real sadness and loss as we will be saying farewell to Vanessa and James in August. They will move in the middle of that month, but Vanessa has kindly agreed to continue taking the Lyminster services throughout August as I am away for the last two Sundays. It has been a gift that the Diocese has provided for the post of a house-for-duty minister over these last few years as most churches in our financial situation would just have one full time position across the two churches. It has been a real blessing, probably for me most of all, and for that I am profoundly grateful. However, it does mean that we shouldn't expect another appointment.
I know that we will all be pleased for Vanessa and praying for her as she prepares to take up this significant role, and for James. At the same time I'm sure there will be questions about what this will mean for the life of both our churches. Although we have not been able to make the announcement until today, we have had a little time to begin planning for the future, and I will share more soon, separately to this announcement.
I'm sure many people will want to be in touch with Vanessa and James to thank them both for their ministry here, and to pray for continued fruitfulness into the future. If you have any immediate questions then please can I ask you to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can take the time to read and reply. Vanessa will be installed during Evensong on Sunday 26 September and more details of the service will be announced later.
I want to finish by saying a huge thank you to both Vanessa and James for all that they have each put into the life of our parishes, particularly at Lyminster, and often in unseen ways. It has made a huge difference to what has been possible, and the legacy of all that God has done through them will remain for years to come. Paul writes to the Philippians about his gratitude for their partnership in the gospel, and to Vanessa and James I can only echo those same words: 'I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.'
And in him we trust - the one who has begun a good work in all of us will carry it on to completion.
Thank you, and God bless,