A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE
[For the period of our interregnum, we have a list of various people to write our leading article. I trust you will find the articles interesting and uplifting. Our first article is from Rev Andy Oatridge – the Curate of St John’s Chapeltown)
Change: an opportunity to clarify and clear out ...
As I write this article, I look out on the yellow skip parked on our drive and contemplate, again, the ups and downs of moving house! We arrived at the vicarage three years ago and fell in love with this lovely village. The kids settled in a great school, we have made some lovely friends and the garden centre has been a regular highlight.
Sadly my time is up, and we're off, not to serve in a parish, but to develop the charity work of ACORNCAMPS running teenage camps in Hungary with local churches. The vision is exciting, the salary unsure, and the future unknown. However, we rest assured that in a period of change we are in the safe hands of our unchanging God who knows the future and our needs.
Change is never easy ... For Abraham to leave his native land, for us as a family leaving the UK or for you as a church in yet another Interregnum. It's so much easier to be settled and sure of how things are with a pattern to the week and everything in place.
But whilst change is never easy it can be an opportunity To clarify what's really important and To clear out the clutter that distracts us.
As you enter another of change in Wentworth, remember it can be a time of blessing or a curse. Often, sadly, it is a time when people vie for positions of power and influence. trampling over those with differing views. Alternatively, it can be a time when the church comes together to have a spring clean, organise a skip and use the time to refocus on what's important.
As Richard said at his leaving do, the purpose of the church is to grow, through relevantly and faithfully proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed to the people of Wentworth, Harley and beyond. Other things, often nice things, can get in the way, distract the church and take people's energy away from the crucial,unique task at hand. Maybe this period of change is another opportunity for a metaphorical spring clean.
As we leave we know God will watch over both you and us as we stay faithful to Him. We will miss Wentworth, but hope one day God will allow our paths to cross again in this magical village. Thank you so much for making us feel so welcome.
Revd Andy Oatridge
Curate St John's Chapeltown