Welcome, Neighbour

A good number of Stoke Pogeans visited the “small but perfectly formed” St Mary’s Wexham on Wednesday last week to celebrate the induction and licensing of Andrew Parry as their Priest-in-Charge. With glad hearts, we welcomed him as a neighbour, thankful that he is not going far and that God’s plan, which can often seem obscure or uncomfortable, in this case seems to fit like a glove.

We witnessed Andrew being presented with a Bible, a map of the parish and a walking staff (how did they know?!), all symbols of understanding, supporting and walking alongside his parishioners. Then the handing over of the keys to the church, installation in his seat, and the Ringing of the Bell!

Practice makes perfect 🙂

Bishop Alan gave us some food for thought in his address – encouraging Andrew and everyone else, in our attempts to build God’s kingdom, not by inviting people to our party to dance to our tune, but to meet people where they are and in whatever situations they face, as Jesus did. He likened effective evangelism to jazz – where people create something in connection and collaboration, without dictating in advance what it will look like or who will be included. Stop waiting for the orchestra to arrive and get on with some music!

After a lovely service, in which we followed Rod Cosh’s exhortation to “Sing up!” we enjoyed a fantastic buffet in the church hall and this amazing cake, made by one of the congregation.

This is a cake!

We wish Andrew every blessing in his new role and look forward to seeing him for guest appearances in Stoke Poges now and then or waving to him on his rainy walks around the villages.

Marvellous Mums

Whether your Mother’s Day involves breakfast in bed, dinner at the pub or the same old routine of exhorting your children to wash before they are fit for civilised company, it is a heartening date in the church calendar. It is more than half way through Lent, the clocks go forward (temporary pain for 6 months’ gain) and, everywhere, spring is showing itself.

As well as celebrating our mums and those who nurture us through life’s ups and downs, this celebration also remembers a time when people took the opportunity to visit their “home” church if they were away working.

So it is doubly fitting that we welcomed so many members of our uniformed groups “home” to St Giles’ with their mums and families to celebrate this day. Thank you to everyone who joined in and made it happen, both on the day and behind the scenes.