Magazine Leader - July 2012


July Parish Magazine

Leader - From a Churchwarden.

Some time ago there was an article in this magazine about the pleasures of visiting Churches when away on holiday.  I well know the feeling as Phyl and I have spent many enjoyable hours in French churches which are happily left unlocked in rural France, very different from the state of affairs we have in England today.


One Church closer to home which we see often is on Lundy, where it seems gloriously out of place, being a suburban style building which would have looked quite at home in the middle of any west country town. But it looks very out of place overlooking the Bristol Channel on a lonely island with a Farm, a Pub and three Lighthouses.  It was built in 1897 with a legacy from his aunt by a clergyman who owned the Island with the very appropriate name of Heaven. (The island being more than once referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven !). The church  served its purpose well for many years allowing sailors anchored up in the Bristol Channel to come ashore for morning service when summoned by the full peal of bells. Nowadays it sees only a few worshipers, but several weddings each year. The pleasures of visiting it until a few years ago were shared by passengers on the visiting paddle steamer who used to disembark a congregation, complete with choir , organist, bell ringers and Priest.  The resulting Evensong was a pure joy to attend.


The Fellowship outing to Mottisfont Abbey in June ended with a sad footnote as Alma Shaw suffered a stroke and died the following morning in Southampton General.  It is nice to know that Alma herself got much enjoyment from the day, in the company of her friends and in a lovely setting.  She was in particular looking forward to the wedding of one of her grandchildren a couple of days ahead.  Our sympathy goes out to her family in their sudden loss, and our prayers are of course with them.


We seem to be managing to function fairly close to normal with our visiting Priests during the Interregnum. In June we announced that we had held back our plans to re-advertise for a new vicar pending a review of those people who had read the profile but did not apply.  As a result we were looking very seriously at one particular candidate who was interested but for personal reasons was held back from applying.  This candidate would be very well suited to St. John’s so I am very pleased to say that we have asked the Bishop to make the appointment. Hopefully we will be able to make a formal announcement towards the end of June.  This is being written before we reached that stage.  So by the time you read this we should have had some clearer news.


Once again, Elaine and I are so grateful for your support and prayers during this period of rather heavy work load, and your tolerance of the difficulties.


With all good wishes,



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