You may have heard on the village grapevine that after being here for 12 years (yes, it really is that long!) I will be leaving my post as Rector of the Parish of Wiverton in the Vale in mid-October to take on a similar role in the north of the Diocese. I will be living in the village of East Markham and ministering in a number of the surrounding villages.
A few people, on hearing my news, have asked me, “Why are you leaving?” and the short answer is, “For the same reason I came,” namely, because has God called me and I said, “Yes”.
It was 40 years ago, shortly before I graduated in 1978, that I first heard God’s call. That was a call to become a follower of Jesus and since then (except when I have been spiritually deaf!) He has continued to call me to serve Him and, I hope, serve the communities of which I have been a part. I have said, “Yes” because I know him to be faithful in his love for and support of me.
It has been an enormous privilege to be your Rector here and to be welcomed into your lives. I have loved listening to your stories, as you have graciously listened to some of mine. It hasn’t all been in church either; I’ve bumped into people in the shops, on the way to school and in the schools themselves, at village events and walking the dogs (although some would say they walk me!). I’ve been invited to share in the significant events of the beginning and the end of life and the celebration of marriage for many of you. You too have cared for me in so many wonderful ways for which I will always be thankful.
But God has called me again, and it’s time to say farewell. I know that as I, Belle and Sam are called to pastures new, we will remember with great fondness, thankfulness and love, the people of these pastures in the parish of Wiverton in the Vale.
Maybe God is also calling you into new pastures; if so may I encourage you not to be spiritually deaf to his call; you don’t know where it might take you but be assured that God will be with you no matter what. Isaiah 6.8: “ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”
May God bless, guard and keep you this day and for evermore .
Yours in Christ,
Canon Bronwen Gamble
Rector of the Parish of Wiverton in the Vale