The months of July and August are for many a time of transition; the children at Moorlands Primary Academy will be moving classrooms and they travel up the school; some will be preparing to start in Reception or Year 1, others will be preparing to leave to go to High School in September. A significant part of the transitions at school are the Reception Graduation ceremony and the Leavers Assembly and act of Collective Worship
Some of the young people of our area will be making choices as to subjects to study beginning in September, or awaiting results of exams they have taken recently which may determine which path they take for a future career, or whether they can go to the university of their choice or have to take an alternative offer.
There are many times of transition in life, leaving home, starting a new job, getting married, having children/grandchildren, the loss of a loved one, moving house, retirement from work, making adjustment to cope with poor health (both mental and physical limitations) and growing older, seeing the changes in the seasons of our lives, the seasons of nature and the changes in culture and technology. Our lives are full of change; sometimes we embrace these changes and at other times they are a real struggle, because change can bring with it concern or fear, and lots of questions beginning What? When? How? etc. Even the change and transition which is positive and welcomed can bring questions and challenges.
The welcomed change for Belton and Burgh Castle churches will be the arrival of the Rev Vivienne Ridpath as a curate. Viv will be ordained deacon at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 29th June and welcomed to the parishes on Sunday 30th June at a special combined service at All Saints, Belton at 10.30am. You are most welcome to join us for that service.
Viv is not a new face to us! For the past three years she has been training for ordination on the Eastern Region Ministry Course and has been undergoing something of a transformation in terms of learning and formation as a minister. Viv has been a member of the church here for nearly 8 years and has been supported by the churches in offering herself to serve God in Belton and Burgh Castle, and she will be working half-time ie two days a week plus Sunday.
What difference will Viv make? Of course Viv will be an extra pair of hands to serve the churches, but as a curate she will still be learning the practical aspects of being a church minister, much like an apprentice does or like we do when we have passed our driving test and then really learn how to drive. Viv will be able to take funerals, in due course, and lead services; she is a wonderful listener and will be good in offering pastoral care. It will be another year, after she is ordained priest, before she will lead communion services and take weddings, but we will be preparing for that.
The Bible teaches that the church is like a body, with many members, but not all members have the same function; that we have different gifts that are given to build up the body. This is an exciting time! It is a very long time since the churches here have had a curate, and we are thanking God for Viv and all the gifts, skills and qualities she has to offer. There is also a challenge that change brings in how we work together and manage our time. I look forward to being able to introduce you to Viv, if you haven’t met her already and seeing her flourish in ministry. There will be pictures and more details of her ordination day in Norwich Cathedral in next month’s edition of the Village Voice.