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Ministry Team Page

Vacancy at St Johns

After fifteen years as our vicar, the Rev Dr Lisa Cornwell has accepted a Ministry Training post with the Guildford Diocese. We wish her well in her new ministry.

St Johns is now in a Vacancy. This means that many things which the vicar used to do will need to be done by others. If you need to contact us, please email the Church Office or call 01344 773808. 

Our Licenced Lay Ministers will share the task of providing a weekly column. 

Parish Profile

As part of the process to find a new vicar we have been creating a Parish Profile which outlines details of us as a church, our background, strengths and what we and our community are looking for.  A huge amount of input has been put into this profile which includes details from the survey responses.

The Area Dean and Archdeacon have been reviewing our drafts and have provided feedback, updates and tweaks as appropriate.  We now have our final version which will include a foreword from the Archdeacon himself.  The next step is to publish this along with our advert in Pathways which is the online system for applications.  We plan to advertise from before and through the Easter period when expect applications for the position to be submitted. 

Once the final version of the Parish Profile is finalised including the foreword we will publish this on our website for anyone to read.
 
James Laverick
Chair of the Parish Profile working group

Ministry Team column

'I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God.' Isaiah 61.10
 
Recently I followed a series of meditations by Brian Draper, an experienced retreat leader, author, speaker, and regular contributor to BBC Four’s ‘Thought for the Day’. ‘Let the delight in’ was one that particularly caught my attention. ‘Part of our calling, ‘Brian Draper reminds us, ‘is to see the goodness, the holiness of what’s around us, which we so often miss in our rush to press on’. He quotes the American poet Ross Gay who faced with this challenge began looking for 'delights' hidden among the smaller joys of everyday life. What surprised this poet most, and what he reflected on in his poetry, was that his study of delight made delight more evident to him.  We can train our eye to see delight in ordinary everyday life: the pink blossom on our little apple tree; the oak trees behind our house bursting into leaf; the delight at seeing the wonderful cake that Gwen made to celebrate the confirmation and first communion of young members of our congregation.  
 
In the Bible the Garden of Eden was a 'delight'.  Eden, I discovered, means ‘place of delight’. It was the place where God delighted in the birth of the human story. And though each one of us has to leave our Eden, we can still ‘delight in the Lord’, as Psalm 37 reminds us: “Take delight in the Lord, trust in him…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”. This means training our eye to see delight every day and everywhere. And as we did last Sunday when we welcomed those newly confirmed young people into our church, to see the joy it brings and to share that joy with each other. 
 
Because joy, as the poet Ross Gay reminds us, in the end, is not about trying to be a glass-half-full kind of person. It’s about making a real and true connection, which hard as it may be, is so often made through the universal experience of suffering. 'Joy, for me, has nothing to do with ease,’ he says. 'Joy is when any sense of alienation from other people – from the world – disappears. That’s a joining – 
joy-ning.’ Mercifully, with practice and prayer, we can begin to see God's presence everywhere, ‘flowing, creating, lovingly connecting’. 

So, this week, I pray that we may we all look for and find delight in the ordinary as well as in the extraordinary and not to be too shy to share the joy of that discovery with others. Like all the good things in life the joy is in the sharing. Such joy is there for us to find as we seek to let the delight in. 
 
Perhaps you can take a few moments now to think of something you have recently delighted in. Thank God for it. And share it.
 
Hazel Berry LLM