Rector’s Letter – January 2020

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Benefice Safeguarding Officer: Rita Harrison-Roach is the Benefice Safeguarding Officer for Rogate with Terwick and Trotton with Chithurst Benefice. or Rita can be contacted on: (01730 818339)


Rector’s Letter – January 2020

‘Christ Centred – Community led’


‘Welcoming a New Year’

A new year stands on my doorstep

ready to enter my life’s journey.

Something in me welcomes this visitor:

the hope of bountiful blessings

the joy of a new beginning

the freshness of unclaimed surprises.

Something in me rebuffs this visitor:

the swiftness of the coming

the boldness of the entrance

the challenge of a year’s good-bye.

Something in me fears this visitor:

the unnamed events of future days

the wisdom needed to walk love well

the demands of giving away and growing.

A new year stands on my doorstep.

with fragile caution I move

to open the door for its entrance,

my heart leaps with surprise,

joy jumps in my eyes,

for there beside this brand new year

stands my God with outstretched hand!

God smiles and gently asks of me:

can we walk this year together?

And I, so overwhelmed with goodness,

can barely whisper my reply: “Welcome in!”

Dear Friends

For a brief moment at New Year’s Eve, a wave of optimism surges through many hearts as we hope and pray for the New Year ahead. As we look forward to the start of a New Year, our minds may well travel back through the year as we remember things which we consider to be important and things that make us regretful or sad. Each New Year offers us a time to look back, but it also offers us an opportunity to look and move forward with renewed hope.

Many of us will make ‘New Year’ resolutions, the most common: to quit smoking, to stop or to drink less alcohol, or by far the most common is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. As Christians we can add to these by making space for daily prayer, or, to take up reading a portion of the Bible daily, or to attend Church more regularly and to give time to visiting or befriending those in need. We will need help and support if we are to make good our resolutions and determination of heart. In the end all resolutions are meant to help us and those around us so that we can be changed inside and outside for the better.

Bishop Martin launches the new five-year vision (see page 30) for the Diocese for ‘Growth’ (2020-2025), under which we will strive to be ‘More Open’, ‘More Converted to Jesus Christ’, ‘More Generous’ and ‘More Engaged’. This New Year we will be exploring what it means to be more ‘Open’ to the many issues that we face together as a Church and the wider community; ‘Open’ to change as well as being ‘open hearted’ with the Good News of Jesus for our Churches, Schools, workplaces, homes and in all aspects of community and daily life.  

This New Year we can all afford to be more ‘open hearted’ and generous with our time and our resources. This could be our resolution to God, and to those around us and to those in need. The more we realise that the most valuable things are not our possessions, but the sharing of our hearts and our lives with others.

Open your heart and learn to give this New Year. Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well.

With every blessing for the New Year.

Edward, Tara, Luke & Isabella

PS Christmas Market: I would like to thank all who helped raise over £4,000 for the three charities supported at the Christmas Market in November. This is a great result. Well done! It was great to see so many working hard behind and in front of the scenes, working together to bring much needed financial support to our chosen charities. My thanks to Mary-Anne Berendt for co-ordinating the market and to all stallholders and all who gave generously of time and talent to making a difference to many people’s lives. Thank you.