My thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Abergavenny and at the cathedral who are all feeling a deep sense of loss of a much loved priest. Fr Jeremy was warm and hospitable and had the good of this town at the heart of his ministry. In a month’s time we shall celebrate the birth of the babe of Bethlehem who came to give us eternal life – I pray our faith in him will keep us strong at this time.
In this modern world waiting is something we are not good at doing. Fast meals and instant access are the order of the day. Yet it is sometimes good to wait, as we shall reflect this Advent.
For you and me the last months have been a time of patient waiting. Waiting for you to get your new Vicar/Rector in place: and for me to take up this new and challenging role. It is a time when both you and I can reflect on the change that my moving to Abergavenny will have on us.
We have not wasted these months of waiting; I have spent time meeting key players, learning about the fabric of St Marys and St Peters, and preparing services for the start of my ministry among you. I have also spent time in prayer and reflection about what God is calling me to do among you, as I move back in to parochial ministry after a time in sector ministry.
The ACS Advent Bible study this year looks more closely at this idea of waiting for something that you know God has said will happen and how you spend that time of waiting. The study looks at four biblical characters that had to do just that. Day by day we look at what this meant for, from the Old Testament Abraham &Sarah and Elkanah & Hannah and in the new Zechariah & Elizabeth and of course Mary & Joseph.
It is in this waiting on God that God is able to speak to us. I pray, for you, this Advent may not be a busy time of preparing for secular Christmas, but a time of waiting patiently on God in prayer and study of his word.
Soon the waiting will be over, and we can celebrate the birth of the Son of God our Saviour. Soon too we can mark my arriving among you. I very much look forward to meeting you all, and to working with you in this corner of God’s Kingdom.
May I thank Fr Bernard and the other clergy, along with the wardens for doing such a good job in keeping the show on the road over the past months.
A Blessed Advent & Christmas
Fr Mark Soady