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Rector's View - May 2009

Dear friends,

This year the Archdeacon's Visitation will be held at the Cathedral at 7.30pm on Thursday 7th May. During this act of worship the Archdeacon, acting on behalf of the Bishop, will formally admit the Churchwardens to Office. This service is always an uplifting occasion and it would be very good indeed if members of our congregations were able to come to the service, to which you are warmly invited, to support the Churchwardens with your presence and with your prayers.

Usually quietly and behind the scenes, the Churchwardens do an enormous amount for us and for the Church as a whole. They not only look after the church and its contents, they also have legal, spiritual and pastoral responsibilities. They are actively involved in the whole life and work of the church and without them I cannot imagine how the continuing life of our parishes would be possible at all. We are very fortunate to have excellent wardens and I would like to express my grateful thanks to them all for their hard work and dedication.

It is a wonderful event in the life of the Church when people come forward for Confirmation. We hear so much these days to dishearten us - across the churches we see falling congregations, falling numbers of clergy, increasing financial difficulties, greater indifference and occasionally hostility towards the Church and individual Christians. Of course, in all of this there is nothing new - the Church has always known persecution. Even so, it is a great encouragement to those very many good Christian folk who persevere quietly in the practice of their faith and in their support for the Church, to know that still people come forward, willingly and enthusiastically, to be confirmed; that two people from our Benefice have, week by week, prepared carefully for this step, and that many people across the country and across the world have, like them, found that the Christian faith and the fellowship of the Church have given meaning and purpose to their lives, such as they could find nowhere else.

The Deanery Confirmation Service will be held at Haverhill Parish Church on Sunday 17th May at 10.00am, with Bishop Clive as the celebrant. We do hope that as many people as possible will be present to support the candidates and to join in what promises to be a joyful occasion. The service also serves to remind us all, however long we have been confirmed, of our calling as Christians and of the joy and fulfilment to be found in responding to that call each and every day.

Defend, O Lord, these your servants with your heavenly grace, that they may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more, until they come to your everlasting kingdom. Amen

The Prayer for after Confirmation from Common Worship: Initiation Services

With every blessing,

Stephen

Rev'd Stephen Abbott

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Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011