A letter from Graham Bartlett - August 2017

The Interregnum

By the time you read this, Rev'd Tim Edwards will be installed as our Rector. Our Interregnum lasted 40 weeks. In our two churches we've held almost 100 services since John Benson retired at the beginning of last October. How have we managed to put on our full range of services during that time?

Largely thanks to 'flying vicars': 15 clergy, lay readers, and volunteers who have shouldered the responsibility of leading and preaching, conducting baptisms, weddings and funerals.

And the greatest contribution of any one single individual has undoubtedly been that of Rev'd Anne Bourne, Associate Vicar of St Luke's, Sevenoaks. Anne has led and preached at no fewer than 31 services - almost a third of all our services in the Benefice - not counting 4 weddings, 4 baptisms, and 5 funerals/interments of ashes. She has been as much a vicar to us as she has been to her own church, St Luke's. She has also led assemblies at our two schools - St Katharine's and Halstead Primary, given home communion to the sick, and been an absolute stalwart to our Benefice...

Totally dependable, instructive, entertaining, imaginative, and inspiring, Anne has been a true friend to our two churches, schools and communities - the best vicar we never had! She now takes on even fuller responsibilities at St Luke's with the departure of Rev'd Mark Griffin in mid July. Providential timing for us, because Anne would never have been able to do what she has done for us, if she had been running St Luke's solo!

Another stalwart in our service provision has been Jackie Roberts who with her team has put on our monthly Early Bird services at St Katharine's on third Sundays at 9am. Despite her recent illness and chemotherapy, Jackie has maintained a superb run of services for toddlers and parents to keep alive this vital ministry to young families. We hope and pray they will be the future of our church.

Thanks to all - readers, intercessors, sidespersons, flower arrangers, cleaning team, churchyard workers, magazine editor and distributors (not forgetting Rev'd Martin Booth for his monthly letters), who have carried on their excellent routines, and to Andrew Miller who has chaired St Katharine's PCC so ably throughout the last nine months. Finally a word to thanks to our Interregnum Administrator, Cecilia Bartlett, who has worked tirelessly for the benefit of both churches in collaboration with the four wardens to deal with the day to day running of the Benefice. A big thank you to everyone who has responded valiantly to the cry of 'all hands on deck' of last October.

Graham Bartlett
Services Coordinator

Verse for the Month

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”
Psalm 42:1