Letter from Revd. Lizzie Gregory

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle

Dear friends,

I must admit, this is a strange letter to write. It is as many of you will have heard, my ‘moving on’ letter. Perhaps though it is appropriate to move on this month as it is exactly four years since I first came to visit you all and see what plans God may have in store for me in this part of the world. The eager-eyed among you may remember catching a glimpse of me at the Christians together Songs of Praise service a good 8 months before I was to become part of the church family.

It was a beautiful time for my first visit, the summer sun high in the sky, the light shimmering on the water and a joyful, welcoming feel which would remain even through the dark cold winters which always come to pass. It is a visit that directed the course of my life for the last few years, and I thank God for putting this in my path.

Like so many of us, I have much to give thanks for; thanks for this place, my ministry among you and for particularly thanks for yourselves. Over the past weeks since announcing my move I have been astounded by the messages of gratitude from people for all that I have done. However, the thanks must instead go to you. I have gained so much throughout my ministry here and that is down to each of you. You learn a lot in ministry, a lot in life especially from those whom you serve and that has proved abundantly true here.

Helping me to become the Priest I am, I have so much that I will take forward. It is a very different place that I am going. I will be the Rector of St Peter’s Church in Filton, an urban town with a population of 10’000 and a fair amount of social deprivation. An Anglo Catholic parish, it does a lot of missional work within the community and has excellent links with schools, colleges, the local university, local businesses and the local prison. Somewhat different to Suffolk in its demographic, I look forward to the fresh challenge it will give me.

The people I encounter, although perhaps from differing backgrounds, are of course not so different from all of you. We are all children of God. We all need God and indeed we all have reason to give thanks to God. I am aware of the difficulties that I may be presented with, but one of the greatest things I’ve learnt from my time with you all is to trust God to provide all that you need for the situations you find yourself in.

In saying goodbye, I want to leave you all with the verse of scripture that began my time with you just over 3 years ago. Written on my ember card the powerful words of Mary from Luke’s Gospel (1.38) ; Be it unto me according to your word.

You never know where God will lead you next, but by trusting him and going with the love, support and prayers of those around you, taking all those you have met in your heart – you know you can’t go far wrong.

With many prayers and blessings now and in the future,