Looking back at the interregnum
It is a great pleasure this month to be looking forward to June the 24th and the induction of our new Rector, a time for great celebration and anticipation. At the same time it is also a good time to look back over the last year or so and reflect on how we have fared during the interregnum.
Such a reflection can only start with an appreciation of how fortunate we have been that we have had an incredibly committed and hugely capable Assistant Rector. There can be no one who has been more affected by the vacancy than Eileen, and her efforts have lessened the impact on the rest of St Peter’s enormously.
With support from Wally, the Readers and others, Eileen has ensured that the pattern of worship at St Peters has continued not only uninterrupted but to the same continuing high standards. This, along with the many other tasks involved in running St Peters and her responsibilities as Area Dean has meant an unrelenting workload for which we can only offer our thanks.
Alongside careful stewardship of what was already in place there have also been new initiatives. The Church has been open in the weeks following Christmas and Easter, healing services introduced last Easter have continued, and last St Peter’s day remains especially memorable as the first of the children in our community received their first communion. A very restorative parish weekend was enjoyed in the autumn, and quietly at 8.00am on Wednesday mornings communion has been celebrated overlooking the awakening city in the seminar room. This will remain in my mind as we met there prior to our day of interviewing candidates, a wonderful way to prepare for the work ahead.
But ‘business as usual’ for St Peter’s has not been confined to the worshipping life of the church. At the start of the year we set our sights on careful maintenance of the ‘status quo’. Looking back, much more than this has been achieved. Significant repairs have been undertaken in the church and a group has taken on the management of the garden. We have settled into the new office and coffee room and much has been learnt. This has at times been a bit of a roller coaster ride for those involved, but the tenacity, patience and sheer hard work of a very committed group of people resulted in bumper profits being delivered by the coffee room: a crucial contribution to our funding. The success of the coffee room has led to the requirement to establish a separate trading company which, along with much other complex financial work, has been smoothly handled. In addition, important groundwork has been carried out on the Tower Appeal and we have also had a funding campaign. It is unfortunate that this occurred during the interregnum but this too has been handled smoothly and professionally, showing the extent to which St Peter’s is fortunate in having able people who give generously of their abilities, in order to serve the Church. We must acknowledge that the funding has fallen short of our target and this will provide us with significant challenges in the next four years and beyond, but we could have been in a much worse situation without the efforts of those who worked so hard.
St Peter’s is blessed with many people who share their many gifts. There is no doubt that during the last year there are a few people who have made an exceptional contribution to ensuring that St Peters has continued in strength. Some of those people now need a rest. Now we are starting a new journey with a new Rector and we need to commit to seeking our part in that journey. But before we go I would like to take the opportunity to offer my thanks for all that has been done and look forward with eager anticipation to whatever might lie ahead.