Last month the Minster celebrated all the blessing we had received over the last year at our Annual meeting. We thanked everyone who had contributed towards the life of the Minster during the past year, and elected and commissioned a new Church Council and Wardens for the coming year.
We generally think of the New Year being in January, but for the church it really comes at Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, which comes 50 days after Easter, and this year falls on the 24th May. I wonder what the year will bring for the Minster? The year is driven by the Christian Festivals, focusing our community life around the story of Jesus, his birth, his life, his death and resurrection, his ascension, and the call to the whole of the created order to come and follow him.
There will be things we plan for, and unexpected things which may both challenge and delight us. One thing we can be sure of is that nothing ever stands still, and the world moves on at a frantic pace. There are some things we do which help to ground us in this fast moving world, such as the daily and weekly rhythm of worship, resonating with a Benedictine spirituality, which founded the community. Here we are drawn towards the creator God, and who having fed and nourished us in Word and Sacrament, sends us out to share his Good News and to serve the wider community of which we are a part, both at home and abroad.
As our links with the wider world continue to grow, this month we welcome Canon Stephen Spencer to the Minster Team, as an honorary Chaplain. Stephen is the Mara Link Officer for the Diocese, and lecturer at the Yorkshire Ministry Scheme. Having travelled to Africa with Stephen last September, I know he will be a real asset to the community, sharing in the liturgical life of the Minster, and encouraging us in our relationship with Kowak Cathedral, in northern Tanzania.
Sunday 10th May comes in Christian Aid Week. In the Minster the Social Justice Vision Group will lead us in thinking about “Who is my neighbour?” You are encouraged to come dressed up in red and white (Christian Aid colours) and give £2 to Christian Aid, OR not dress up and give £5 to Christian Aid. Of course it not compulsory, but a fun way to raise some money, and there will be a lunch to buy food after the 10.30am service – a chance to be together as a community, building relationships, and fostering the body of Christ in the Minster, and supporting Christian Aid.
Next month I’m off to Warminster, to visit the Yorkshire Regiment at their Barracks: I’ll have to start getting in training, as I’ve no idea what they might be planning?!
All best wishes,