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VICAR'S LETTER - The Vicar’s report to church’s annual meeting

May 2016

Dear Friends,

As I sat and thought about 2015 and church life during the past year it came to me that St. Margaret’s is a very healthy church. We have had our moments of joy and sadness of surprise and challenge but we have come through these invigourated. An early joy last year was my becoming the sixtieth vicar of Streatley, a privilege and a position I value very highly. During the year we began the some new things – “Talking Elephants”, a community based coffee and conversation group for the recently bereaved run jointly with the bereavement leaders from Keech Hospice and Nevilles – a Pastoral group whose members are there to care for our congregation – and a new communications group focussing on adapting ourselves to the Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp world we live in.

During the Spring and Summer the last major stone work of the church was renewed when the window traceries were replaced followed by the re-glazing and re-leading of the glass. Sadly during this work thieves took advantage of the erected scaffolding to try to steal the lead from the roof. They were disturbed but nevertheless did a lot of damage which was very upsetting and led to an unforeseen expense. Everybody rallied round to help and once more we give our heartfelt thanks to the “The Friends of St. Margaret’s” who generously gave money to ensure a speedy replacement.

There have been comings and goings: Jane Challis who has been sacristan for the last few years, Paul Jeffrey our treasurer, his wife Dawn, chair of the Care Committee and Sarah Northwood, magazine editor all stepped down from their roles. We are however healthy, and so there are strong players on the bench and we welcomed Paul Ingram, Jean Flower and Cathy Aizlewood as treasurer, sacristan and magazine editor respectively. Throughout the year we were joined by Nicola Ip in preparation for her going to an ordination selection conference; we enjoyed her preaching and leading and I am pleased to say that Bishop Richard has put her forward as a candidate for a panel which meets in March.

In November, Teresa Dales joined us as a Reader; this is a very special ministry and one that will enhance our worship and our understanding of the Bible as well as enriching our church lives. In January I was able to announce that this coming year we will welcome a curate to our ministry team. This is the result of discussions that began a few years ago and blossomed in the autumn of last year.

A healthy church is one that worships and learns together but also one that can evolve and adapt to new circumstances and lives in love, harmony and generosity with one another. We are very blessed in this way and I want to thank everyone for their support during 2015 and for their contributions large and small as we together “set forth God’s true and lively word” 1


Steve


1 From the Book of Common Prayer communion service

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