Revd Jackie

Letter from the Vicar

Dear fellow travellers,

Firstly, thank you to you for your part in bringing us to the point we are at today. Thank you for your prayers and all the hard work that you have undertaken to make sure that the church in Longthorpe has continued to pray and worship together and to reach out to serve the community.

When Archdeacon Gordon kindly rang to offer me the post, I was amazed and excited, and those feelings have not left me. When we visited St. Botolph's, my husband Neil and I were struck in particular by two things: the open church building which is available to all comers every day and the commitment to the future of ministry here which drives the planned refurbishment of the church building. I think these two things are related and are evidence of God at work here among us, which is the most thrilling thing. It will be wonderful to join you and find out where God wants to take us together for the sake of His Kingdom.

Interestingly, I will be joining you part way through our Lenten journey which may seem a little strange but on reflection I realised that we are all constantly on journeys and there is never a time when we stop moving on.

Our earthly journeys start when we are born and continue through our whole life and we face change every day. Maybe in ways that are obvious, maybe smaller, less obvious, yet still important ways. Our journey as a group of people together changes constantly too. People come, people leave and those who remain change a little each day as we grow older and hopefully mature in our faith.

The season of Lent in particular calls us to make time to reflect. Springtime is filled with rebirth, new beginnings, and new growth. Too often, however, we can be tempted to race to the Easter Resurrection without fully embracing the Lenten process that leads us there. Similarly, we can often find that when we are on a long journey we just want to get there and we miss the opportunities and the joys that the journey itself can bring.

Recognising ourselves as the body of Christ on earth we acknowledge our need to be in community with one another and we journey on as pilgrims, walking the way together. As Lent is a time when we are made more aware of our personal failings and frailties, maybe we are given the opportunity to recollect why we join in our journey together. Welcoming the newcomer, helping those who need support and saying goodbye to others.

We join in our journey with God as we look forward to Easter, that very special time of remembering and celebration and I look forward to declaring the Easter acclamation of "He is Risen" with you on Easter Day.

Rev. Jackie Bullen, Vicar