Towards the Sunny Uplands?
The days are lengthening, the birds are singing and mass vaccination is in progress. The new church roof is beautiful and paid for: what a tremendous effort by the entire village! And we can see real progress towards finding our new Rector. Under church law, there are many steps to follow, hurdles to leap and hoops to pass through when a rector retires. The three parishes of our United Benefice – Burwash, Burwash Weald and Etchingham – have been working hard together to accelerate the process and we think we can see the way ahead.
We had a target from the diocese to hold a joint meeting to approve, among other things, the prospectus for a new priest and to agree about advertising. This meant the three parishes having to collaborate, unlike 2013 when we were recruiting for Burwash only. We beat the target by a month, and a timeline has been drawn up by the hierarchy in which it looks likely that interviews will be in April. After an appointment is made, there would normally then be a period of notice to leave a previous parish before a new incumbent can start here.
We would be foolish to forecast when we might have a Rector again, especially with Covid interrupting things. But we can dare hope for less than a year from when Revd. Sally left.
Meanwhile, the Rectory has been let by the diocese and we try to continue church services whenever government rules allow and we have a minister. However, strong advice has been issued by Rother and Wealden District Councils, resulting in equally strong advice from the Bishop of Lewes to close churches. This we have done, but we continue to send round material for Sunday observance, including where to find streamed services.
The Parochial Church Council is in need of a secretary. It involves calling and minuting five meetings a year. Please will you help, or tell us who might? Do contact the churchwardens.
With best wishes,
Vicky Patterson (01435 884135). Richard Harden (01435 882556).