Vicar’s Messages

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Developments for the Magazine…..Fr. Patrick writes

 This December/January edition is the fifth and final combined edition of the Lapworth and Baddesley Clinton Parish Magazine with the Parish News for Packwood and Nuthurst cum Hockley Heath.  The joint editions were forced upon us when Alison Burley suffered her accident in early June and was no longer able to produce the Lapworth and Baddesley Clinton magazine.  I am very grateful to Derek Bush for showing great flexibility in putting together these joint editions.  I am also delighted that, after five months in hospital, Alison is now back at home and very much better, even if her recovery still has some way to go.

The next edition of the magazine will be for February 2024.  I’m expecting the magazine to be more consistent and to reflect the new “Oversight Area” of Baddesley Clinton, Lapworth and Packwood.  Nuthurst are exploring sharing a parish magazine with Tanworth-in-Arden.  Nuthurst parish will no longer have a formal relationship with this magazine, but we will do our best to publish any material that they send us, and I expect that many Nuthurst readers will continue to receive this magazine.

So what is an “Oversight Area”?  Well, right across the CofE changes are being made to manage with a smaller number of stipendiary priests.   There is less money to pay stipendiary clergy, and fewer people are volunteering themselves for ordination.  Those two problems cancel each other out, but it means that the CofE has to get by with far fewer priests.   Different dioceses have different ways of doing this.  Here in the Diocese of Birmingham, parishes have been grouped together into Oversight Areas which will share resources including stipendiary priests.  In September Bishop Anne appointed me as Oversight Minister for Baddesley Clinton, Lapworth and Packwood. In October the names of Oversight Ministers (including me) were announced for 19 of the 40 or so oversight Areas which will eventually cover the whole Diocese of Birmingham.  I expect that we will have some kind of formal launch of our local Oversight Area early next year.

And before that we have Christmas!  I have been very affected by the war in the Holy Land and I find it hard to think about a season of peace and goodwill.  Yet that holy child, the Prince of Peace, is more important than ever when wars are raging.  So I pray that our hearts and minds, families and households, communities and nations may experience the joy and peace of Jesus this Christmas.

With prayers and best wishes, Fr Patrick


CofE alternative collect prayer for Fourth Sunday of Advent

Eternal God,

as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,

so we wait for his coming in glory;

bring us through the birth pangs of this present age

to see, with her, our great salvation

in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.