By the time you read this, Stephen will have taken his last service in Saltwood Church and we will have thanked the McCaulay family for
their ministry at a farewell lunch in Saltwood School. We wish
Stephen, Charlotte and Becky every happiness in their new home in
Askwith. Stephen’s licensing to the benefice of Washburn and Mid-
Wharfe in the Diocese of Leeds is on the 11th October, at which point
we enter officially what is now known as a Vacancy.
A Vacancy may be unsettling, but it can and should be a time for
reflection, opportunity and growth. If we all remember Stephen’s
request that we love God, love each other, pray and read the Bible,
then the church will flourish in this place, even though we are
temporarily without a rector. As we have done before we need to rise
to this challenge and work together.
The Churchwardens are fortunate in having the services of a benefice
administrator and being able to call on a number of retired clergy in
addition to the extra cover Tricia our Assistant Priest, and William
and Bob our Readers will provide. We are confident that our normal
pattern of services will be maintained, so keep coming to church and keep volunteering!
As the first part of the Vacancy process, the Churchwardens of
Lympne and Saltwood will have met the Archdeacon of Ashford, the
Area Dean and Lay Chair of Elham Deanery on the 27th August in
preparation for writing the parish and benefice profiles necessary for
appointing a new incumbent. We have already been advised that the
legal right of presentation will not be suspended, which is good news
as it means we will be advertising for a new priest for the Benefice of
Lympne and Saltwood.
On September 7th the PCC of Saltwood will attend an Away Day in
Lympne Church when we will review the life and work of the parish
and seek to create a shared vision for the future. We will be guided by
Revd. Peter Ingrams, Local Ministries and Growth Advisor for the
Diocese. He will be assisted by Revd. Paulette Stubbings, Vicar of
Seasalter Life Church.
We should have more news on the Vacancy timetable next month and
will keep you informed of progress. In the meantime please pray for
all those who are taking on extra responsibilities and encourage each
other as we go forward together.
Christine, Tess, Brian & Colin.