View from the Rectory

'View from the Rectory' is the monthly column from our Rector, published in our Parish magazine.


May - View from the Rectory


The times they are a changin’

I hope you all had a blessed Easter and came along to at least one of the many services and reflections that were on offer in April here at St Mary’s West Chilt. We have already attracted a number of new members and attenders and we’d love it if you would give us a try. If you haven’t been to church for a while, we offer a range of traditional and informal services and our aim is to continue to develop more diversity in our provision to be able to offer something for everyone. During Lent, our 'Mystery of Everything' course, based on the story of Jane and Stephen Hawking, was attended by 26 people- a number of whom were not regular churchgoers and they really enjoyed it!

Next month we’re offering a confirmation course to run on Sundays between 2-4pm from 2nd June so please get in touch if you’d like to join those booked on this.

I’m a fan of the music of Bob Dylan which has featured already in our informal Watch, Think, Reflect offering on Sunday evenings at St Mary’s (see'What's On' for details of forthcoming services). His great song '...for the times they are a changin’ seems appropriate. This is the final issue of the Parish Magazine edited by David Burnett. After 15 years of faithful service as editor, David will hand over the reigns to me in a caretaking role until a new permanent honorary editor can be found. I am very grateful to David for all that he has given this parish and he will be a hard act to follow. My Parish priest commitments mean that I can only occupy the editorial chair for 6 months and we really do need to find a person (or persons) with the commitment to take the magazine into 2020 and beyond - otherwise it will fold. Please get in touch if you think you can help (see 'Can you help')

May is the month during which the church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension (Thursday 30th May at 7pm). It was a time when the disciples of Jesus had to let him go and they had to learn how to build and encourage one other without his teaching or wisdom being delivered in person. It was a time of serious adjustment  and absence as they had to rely on their best memories of him. No doubt they were worried about what the future would hold for them and they would certainly have struggled to imagine how they could hold it all together without his presence. As well as saying goodbye to David Burnett, last month St Mary’s said goodbye to our organist Tony Hancock, who along with Frances, returned to worship at their home church of Pulborough - we will miss them both and wish them well for the future.

So in this post-Easter season we all have to face the challenge of the Ascension in some sense. I wonder what you will have to let go of? It may be that you face difficult times of unwanted absence from someone you love and have relied on; maybe you face retirement or illness. Whatever proves to be your own Ascension challenge, may you begin to see opportunity, possibility and personal growth in  the times that are a changin’ and may you learn how to flourish.

Every prayer and blessing

Rev’d David Coleman, Rector and caretaker editor from June.

St Mary’s Church West Chiltington

Office- The Rectory, East St, West Chiltington, West Sussex RH20 2JY

Office phone-  01798 813117

Mobile- 07710688033


Twitter- @rectorwestchilt and @stmwestchilts

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