Vicar's Letter

August 2013

Dear Friends

As the heat wave continues into the start of the school holidays, there will be many parents and children looking forward to the enjoyment of this fine weather.

Although welcomed by many people holidaying, the hot weather will, I am sure, bring with it its problems and challenges. Preparations are currently being made for

July 2013


[Our message for July has been written by Ann Collier. I would like to thank Ann for taking time and writing this article for us all to share]

Dear Friends,

I was honoured when Ruth asked me if I would write an article about Christian Aid for the Church Magazine. However I feel I should start with an apology. I normally put a little article into the May magazine, because, as you all know by now, Christian Aid Week is always the second week in May. By the way, is has been the second week in May long before any other charities even thought of having a specific week for collecting for their charity; so if it clashes with other charities’ weeks it is not the fault of Christian Aid! Unfortunately April had slipped by before I realised I had forgotten my reminder in the magazine. It therefore seems a bit passé to say much about Christian Aid except to thank-you all very much for your generosity and to thank, in particular, my dedicated band of collectors who diligently endeavour to collect from every house in the Parish. If by any chance your envelope has not been collected please could you pass it on to a church member who will make sure I will get it. It is difficult in our very busy world to catch people in their homes, so please forgive us if we have called when you were out!

We can however relate the spirit of Christian Aid to our own Parish. When we give to Christian Aid we give unconditionally and in faith and trust. We give to make other people’s lives better. We give to make others happier and joyful in their improved situations. As a church, which is of course a body of Christian people, we go to church (the building) to

June 2013



[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)


Dear Friends,


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

May 2013

Dear Friends,


It is very difficult to write a letter for this magazine, knowing that it will be my last. What to say? I do not want to give a long list of 'thank yous' for the same reason that I never do this at church annual meetings, the fear (not misplaced!) that I will omit someone who may therefore feel offended. I don't want to depart having caused upset.


So let me content myself with a few remarks about the strengths and weaknesses of our parish. It is easy to forget, except for the few who worship there, that there are two churches in Wentworth parish, Holy Trinity of course, but also Harley Mission church. A priest who I have invited to take a service there hit it on the head when he said, “they always look after the children there”. This is Harley's

April 2013

Dear Friends,
Space needs to be given first to reporting back on matters raised in the last issue.  We have now begun the Start! Course as part of confirmation preparation and are grateful to Simon Brown for providing some fresh input for this. Stephen Oxer is energetically collecting names for the church Electoral Roll; a final reminder, please, that this year your entry does not 'roll over', but you need to sign a form afresh.
We held the Easter Messy Church meeting in school, as planned, and around 30 children attended most or all of it. They obviously enjoyed themselves and I hope both they and their parents went away knowing a little more about what happened to Jesus in Holy Week and at Easter. The church cannot, in future, rely on the old model of encouraging people 'to' church (though that does still work for some), but has also bring church 'out' in new and innovative ways. This particular event could not have happened without the enthusiastic participation of many church people, young and old, who provided lots of craft activities and a splendid tea.  I do hope someone might pick up this particular idea and take it forward for the future.
I am most grateful to Vanessa Coohill (Isaac's mother might help to place her for you) for offering to write up the marriage registers. Not an  exciting task, but an essential one, and if done well a beautifully inscribed certificate is a lovely souvenir of their big day for the couple concerned.
It is nice to be able to report that Matthew Wiles who, amongst other things supervises our

March 2013

Dear Friends

The wedding 'season' starts for us on 23rd March. It has been a pleasure to welcome so many couples to our beautiful church over the years. And also to reflect on the fact that far more people are getting married here now than did when I was first here in the early 1990s. We hope that all those involved later this year have a lovely day when it comes; that the fact that they have been married in church and with God's blessing really does become helpful and meaningful to them; and that those couples who will be attending Sunday worship take something worthwhile away with them.

Around 35 weddings this year so far is less than this year, but still a lot. This puts a good deal of pressure on the wedding 'team', who include the ringers, the choir, Richard Taylor and Chris Hayes on the day itself; and also Janet Sinclair-Pinder, Jim Gelder and Carolyne Gregory in the preparatory stages. I hope that, if they ask for help, you will give it to them. Incidentally, I have been asked by one or two couples to come out of retirement to take their ceremony, which I will do, always assuming the new Vicar has not been appointed.

I did mention various study options last month. We are no longer sure if we can fit in the Moving On sessions before retirement, but we will give this further consideration. Sylvia and I will definitely be running the

February 2013

Dear Friends,


I wonder when the last time was that a member of the 8.15 a.m. congregation at Wentworth had a baby? A long time ago, I am sure. So congratulations to Kay Atkin, a young woman who was both married and confirmed in Holy Trinity during the last few years, and who had her first child in January, a girl weighing in at 7lb 5oz. Congratulation to them both and to Stuart, Kay's husband.


Perhaps you will notice the great age of the two people whose funerals took place last month? Tom Kelly was 95 and from Hoyland, but his wife Doreen was born in Wentworth. I was interested to discover that she had been in service at Wentworth Woodhouse during the time of the Fitzwilliam’s; she must be amongst the last to have memories of that period in our village's history. Kathleen Smith lived latterly at Wentworth Hall (the old vicarage) and she too played a small role in

January 2013

Dear Friends,


In the last few weeks prior to Christmas the Church of England was headline news on several occasions. Just one was a good news story, the choice of a new Archbishop of Canterbury who, as a former oil executive with experience in Africa, certainly breaks the mould for the type of person traditionally in the frame for this job. He will need all his diplomatic skills, for the other stories all came into the bad news bracket – no women bishops, no gay marriages, and falling numbers of Christians.


The reduction in the number of UK residents who claim a Christian affiliation affects the CofE particularly, for some Christian churches are holding steady (like the Roman Catholics) and some (such as those supported by immigrant communities) may be even be growing. Most of the loss is down to a sharp fall in Anglican worshippers and adherents. One knee jerk reaction to the conjunction of three issues – fewer believers, no women, and no gays – is to say that the decline is because the church is completely out of

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