Vicar’s Weekly Letter

Saturday 22nd August, 2020

Dear Friends,

O Lord, your love endures for ever

            Earlier in the week, we remembered Bernard, a teacher of the faith, who lived in the eleventh century and founded Cistercian monasticism. On the same day, we also remembered William and Catherine Booth who founded the Salvation Army and were known for the preaching and works among the poor. Tomorrow at our benefice Eucharist at St Oswald’s, we remember Oswald our patron saint and on Monday, the Church remembers Bartholomew the Apostle. Further into next week also brings more festivals and commemorations… Augustine, Aidan… we really are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses! I wonder how you relate to this aspect of the Church year (Sanctorale), and specifically, how the remembering of particular saints helps to inform and inspire your Christian faith. Personally, I think it’s important to remember together the saints and to celebrate God’s grace in them in the context of our prayer and worship. And there’s a lot of theology in this too. I partly see it as connected to our remembering and praying for the faithful departed, where we acknowledge together our one belonging in Christ – the baptismal covenant. I wonder, then, how you sense your connection to all Christians who have gone before, and then your connection and call to point others to Christ in your time and place. In the three years I have served as Vicar in this benefice, I pray we have done this in some way, however small. Remember the mustard seed…

I am leading two final services in the benefice tomorrow, a 10.30 am Eucharist at St Oswald’s and a 6 pm Evening Prayer at St Hilda’s. I know not all of you can come and ongoing virus restrictions continue to determine how we can conduct services and numbers. If I do not get to see you, please know I continue to pray for you and give thanks to God for you. Thank you for your kindness and love, both to me, Andrew, and the children.

Even though a interregnum is soon to begin, let us also remember the recent appointment of a youth a children’s worker, and to keep Lucy in our prayers as she looks to build on the foundations of our ministry to young people and their families in our benefice, working with Youth Church and the Wednesday Tea Time Club. I ask that you keep Jane, Wendy, Susan, Josie, Ros, Ian, David, Helen, and Tim in your prayers please, especially over these coming weeks as they plan for the interregnum.

            From next week, there will be a benefice Eucharist rotating around the churches and which start at the new time of 11 am. I appreciate this time will not suit everyone but it is to enable visiting priests to take earlier services in other churches. Next week’s benefice service is at Stonegrave Minster.

Please get in touch with Jane or Wendy at St Oswald’s in the first instance if you, or anyone else you are aware of, would like a telephone call or specific pastoral support and prayer ministry. Although I finish as Vicar here in the next few days, ministry to the Christian community in one place is never a hard finish and please know you can get in touch and pop in on us when you are visiting York. Like all of those who have served as Vicar here, I too hold you in prayer before God and I will continue to give thanks for you and ask his protection and peace on you and your families.

The Lord will make good his purpose for me

With every blessing,

Catherine                                                                                                                                    
Revd Catherine Reid                                                                                                                 

Vicar of Ampleforth with Oswaldkirk, Gilling East and Stonegrave