This week's Newsletter has a long reflection on what 'being a vicar' or 'having a vicar' or even 'what does a vicar do' actually means.
It's a question that occurs when a church has a vicar and also when it hasn't. St Luke's has been without a vicar for a very long time. The congregation has been enormously supportive throughout, despite everyone being under tremendous pressure from the Covid threat for the last sixteen months of that time without a vicar.
The body of Christ that is the people who believe and worship together at St Luke's has worked very hard to sustain the greater community in that time. Support has been offered beyond the physical boundaries of St Luke's, including to the Foodbank, to the school, to local people feeling strain and to Christian people suffering in desperate circumstances in the Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Middle East.
Inevitably this has caused internal stress within the church; yet faith has seen the people through. Last week, we carried the story of the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus stopped the forces of wind and wave with a command. On those calmer waters, the boat carrying the disciples took them and Jesus to the next stage in his ministry.
So it feels at St Luke's now. In a prolonged period of preparation and co-operation, St Luke's has sought a new vicar and on Friday those called to that role were interviewed. As we went through that process, the overwhelming feeling was one of relief, of peace and of gratitude to God and to one another for being delivered.
We don't know the future but we placed ourselves in the Lord's hands, trusting in Christ that we would be taken forward to whatever God willed for us. There was a strong feeling of a family together, moving ahead with God's help. May the Lord bless all of the people of St Luke's and guide their new vicar in leading the church in Tittensor. Amen.