April letter from Brian JolleyMarch 29, 2016
As many of you are aware I have spent the period of Lent on a placement for my training in the Auld Valley Benefice just south of Saxmundham, a Benefice of seven churches in rural settings in the care of a lady priest who had been an army chaplain. Personally I found it difficult to accept going on this placement considering the challenges we are facing in Sole Bay and my desire to help and support Rev. Simon and to serve the Sole Bay Team. But as it is an important part of my course, I have had to accept; in fact it gave me a strong determination to make this a defining event for my future ministry.
This has proved to have been the case and my experiences on my placement have shown me that the problems and challenges we face here in Sole Bay are faced in other parishes in Suffolk, it has also given me a very valuable insight into the extra pressures and problems faced by churches in rural settings, and the lessons I have learnt will help me in my future ministry here in Sole Bay.
In many ways I consider my placement during the period of Lent as having been a pilgrimage “A long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.” So now like everyone else my personal Lenten journey ended with revelation of God’s will and love with the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday and it is now time for us to use what has been learnt for the benefit of those around, true we all have challenges ahead of us but by letting God’s love uphold and guide us we can achieve miraculous solutions. And as nature around us is showing the signs of new life around us so we can show signs of new life within us, all it takes is Faith and Love.
Faith is not the answer to seek, but a way of seeking.
Faith is not a gift to be given, but a way of giving.
Faith is not a theory to learn, but a way of learning.
Faith is not a resolution to strife, but a way of striving.
Faith is not a God to serve, but a way of serving.
Faith is not a journey end, but a way of journeying.
(adapted from a work by Richard Skinner “Liturgy of Life” anthology)
With love and blessings