“Welcome to Hadlow”


These are the words ringing in my ears today.  As I stood outside the church door this morning saying goodbye to the congregation following my first 10.00am service the welcome was wonderful.  The service itself went off without too many disasters and there were about 120 communicants, although that may have been slightly higher than usual as people were coming to see the new Vicar.  And, of course, the slightly weird thing is that today was my first service as a Vicar, rather than being a curate.  Whilst the change in title does not affect my priestliness it does mean that the buck is more likely to stop with me when things go a bit Pete Tong…

Although my Vicaring has started in Hadlow we have still not moved into the Vicarage whilst we wait for some bits and pieces to be done there.  Whilst that is not too much of an issue it did mean a very early start this morning (5.45am) in order to get there for the 8.00am service.  However, as I keep telling myself, lots of people with ‘proper’ jobs commute all the time.  The more important issue is that it is hard to be a priestly presence when one is being a commuter and not being present in the community.  Still, I shall try to be there as much as possible and, before too long, we shall be there more fully.

So, how do I feel after being installed on Tuesday and having done my first services?  The answer is that I feel well and truly welcomed and I look forward to getting properly stuck in!

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