A coach full from South Leightonstone and an even bigger one from Lincolnshire contributed to the full house at St Andrew’s Great Staughton last night (5th Sept) for the installation of their new parish priest, the Revd Nicki Bland.
The Bishop of Huntingdon, The Rt Revd David Thomson presided as a packed church listened to our former curate Nicki making her oaths and receiving the ‘cure of souls’ of Great and Little Staughton and Hail Weston. The ancient ceremony had a new flavour reflecting the Diocesan strategy priorities, but retained such time-honoured practices as the Archdeacon (Ven Hugh McCurdy) leading the new incumbent to her stall, and Nicki tolling the church bell to spread the news of her arrival.
Everyone present joined in hearty thanks to the team from the parish who provided us all with wonderful refreshments after the service. After that, even the drizzling rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we set out for home.
Our organist at Kimbolton, Robert Tucker, has written a brand new setting for the sung parts of our communion service. We will be using this later in 2017, but you can hear a sneak preview of the choir trying it out at choir practice: Click here
During Lent 2017 our three cell groups were joined by a few extra people as we explored together the Diocesan strategy and its impact for our South Leightonstone group of parishes. On each of five sessions we took one of the strategy’s “levers of change” and looked at it in the context of a set scripture: (1) Nurture a confident people of God; (2) Develop healthy churches and leaders; (3) Serve the local community; (4) Re-imagine our buildings; and (5) Target support to key areas.
The material provoked some very interesting discussions, and some good ideas and suggestions were put forward. To try to pull these together, the leaflets invited a personal response on the back page. If you were in one of the groups please do consider putting some of your thoughts down on the paper and getting it back to me.
Click on the “Ely2025” link on the left menu to see and download the leaflets with their feedback forms.
This Wednesday (1st March 2017) is Ash Wednesday and marks the start of Lent. According to ancient tradition the period of forty days before Easter is observed as a time of fasting and penitence. There are two services in the benefice on Ash Wednesday when you are invited to participate in communion and to receive, if you wish, the Imposition of Ashes. This involves coming forward to have the sign of the cross made on your forehead with ash made from the burning of last year’s palm crosses, and reminds us of our own mortality and the need to assess what is really important in our lives.
This is a five-Sunday month, so as usual we have one single united 10.45 am service that day. This month we are at Tilbrook All Saints for a Group Eucharist with Rev Nicki Bland.