Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!

A very happy New Year to all in the blogosphere!
Had a great Christmas, except for the weather... not that I'm worried about finding how much the Christmas Offering was reduced or anything like  Spent a lovely few days with my family during last week. Everything went well there, especially with my eldest nephew having got engaged recently.
I did a kind of review of 2010 during a few quiet moments. I can recommend that practice, as it's very easy to forget events, both good and not so good. Blessed John Hnery Newman tells us that we can only understand events when looking back - very true. Now, of course, we face a new year. I suppose the event in my own life dominating this first part will be discovering who my new archbishop-boss will be. Hopefully we will not have too long to wait to find out, especially as there is now a new Nuncio in place in London. 
As I do from time to time, I also add here my front page thoughts from the newsletter this week - entitled "New Year - New Directions??"

St Paul’s, Christ the King and St Brigid’s have now been together for six years. We have all moved along in our own journeys and our journey as a cluster of churches. From a position of friendly co-existence we have made progress in so many ways – probably far more than most of us realise! Just at present, for example, we are looking at closer ties in administration and in Baptism preparation. I believe that it is now time to review that progress, and to plan for the next period in our 3 Churches growth. While we are aware of possible developments also coming from the diocesan level, that should not deter us from seeking the Lord’s wisdom for what we already have. And what we have is one of the largest clusters in Wales, and one to which others are increasingly looking for a model.
Although I definitely think this review should be undertaken, I do not have set ideas about where it should go. It does seem that some kind of body for the 3 churches would now be feasible - and both strategic and pastoral. At present St Brigid and St Paul constitute one parish and Christ the King another. That could not be changed without a new Archbishop’s consent, and the consultation of the Council of Priests. However, a title like Three Churches Council would avoid that minefield. Perhaps each of the three could then have a smaller body to handle its own particular issues. Just one idea...
There are many issues to think about – and pray about. Let’s begin 2011 with a commitment to seek a vision for our part of the vineyard – and let everyone feel part of that search!

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