You may or may not be aware that on 1st March this year, the 6 Ecclesiastical (not civic) parishes which formed the Wiverton Group of Parishes, became the single Ecclesiastical parish of Wiverton in the Vale with 6 parish churches. The Wiverton Group was formed over thirty years ago when things were very different. Someone of you may remember The Rev’d Colin Perkins and his family who lived in Dobbin Close in what has been my home for the last eleven years.
The reasons to become a single parish are various eg reduction of duplication in administration, stronger working relationships; but the most important reason was to enable us to serve the people of our communities more effectively. As with any new venture there will be much for us to learn: different ways of working together, encouraging people to take on new roles in ministry and so on. I, as your Rector, still remain as the leader of each Parish Church and in many ways, you will see very little difference from day to day. We have begun to change our notice boards and advertising so you will see “Wiverton in the Vale” appearing in place of “Wiverton Group”. I am pleased to tell you that this change coincides with two new ventures “Time for You” and Coffee, Cake and Chat (see page 13) and others will be on the way.
New beginnings is very much the theme of the season of Lent and Easter. We reflect on the past, seeking to address our failings and remembering on Good Friday, in particular, the sacrifice made by Jesus’ death on the cross. But we do this in the context of the ultimate new start we see in the resurrection of Jesus. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus has given us all the possibility of a new start, a clean state and hope for the future. Celebrating this on Easter Day is a great joy for me and it could be for you too. As the sun rises to start a new day, so the Easter Day sunrise sets the scene for the start of new life in Jesus. My prayer for us all, this Easter, is that the new beginnings we experience around us will be experienced within us too. We invite you to join us (see pages 4 & 5) and discover you own New Beginning.
Bronwen Gamble, Rector of the Parish of Wiverton in the Vale.