St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 19th June 2011
A Fond Farewell
On Wednesday morning in our Diocesan cycle of prayer we prayed for the Wickford and Runwell Team Ministry. The description was Team Rector. Position Vacant. As we all know that is about to change as we say goodbye to Jane. Their gain is our loss. A valued colleague and friend for over seven years. All of us, in our differing ways, will have to adjust to Jane’s departure. We wish her well. I leave her with a poem.
R.S Thomas, the famous Welsh poet, wrote this poem about his vocation as a priest. As you would expect from Thomas it is not altogether uplifting and yet it contains a wonderful line , ‘I was there, I felt , to blow on ashes that were too often cold.’ Blowing on ashes is a priest’s vocation as we hope to see those ashes spark and light with the Holy Spirit.
I was vicar of large things in a small parish.
Small-minded I will not say, there were depths
in some of them I shrank back from,
wells that the word “God” fell into and died away,
and for all I know is still falling.
Who goes for water to such must prepare for a long wait.
Their eyes looked at me and were the remains of flowers
on an old grave. I was there, I felt, to blow on ashes
that were too long cold. Often,when I thought they were about
to unbar to me, the draught out of their empty places
came whistling so that I wrapped
myself in the heavier clothing of my calling,
speaking of light and love
in the thickening shadows of their kitchens