Rector’s Letter – December 2018

Dear friends,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to write to you just a few days before my institution as your Rector. I would like to thank in advance everyone who is working so hard to prepare for the service and celebration. It promises to be a magnificent and memorable occasion.

Like the Ven. Peter Potter in the last issue of this magazine, experience has taught me to never say ‘never’. When I left St Mary’s for my curacy in Perth three years ago, it was clear to me that my future ministry would be in a community other than Dunblane. I had wholeheartedly accepted the call to ordained ministry and, painful as it was to lift our roots, Davie and I were ready to go wherever God would lead us. Imagine my consternation when, in January, colleagues in the diocese prompted me to consider applying for the post to be vacated by Nick, despite the fact that it is not customary to return to one’s home church as its Rector. I agreed to pray about it and within days I experienced a similar feeling to when I was first called to ordination, a sense of an open door and a choice whether to step through. Six long months of uncertainty followed, which made me feel vulnerable and anxious at times but which also caused me to grow closer to God as I learnt to trust more deeply in his call and in his perfect timing. It was reading the Parish Profile that finally convinced me that I should apply. I was excited by the picture it painted of the outward-looking, missional church you would like to be, where the ministry of all believers is encouraged. It also reminded me why I had enjoyed so much being involved in the life of the community in Dunblane and made me realise the depth of my love for you, the congregation who nurtured me and encouraged my calling to ministry. It was with great humility, gratitude and joy that, on September 4th, I accepted the invitation to become your Rector.

A friend sent me a prayer by St Teresa of Avilla which I have been reading every day, changing every ‘you’ to ‘I’ and ‘your’ to ‘my’. I offer it to you to make your own:

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts you have received and pass on
the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let His presence settle into your bones and allow your soul
the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

I am looking forward very much to coming home to St Mary’s in my new role. Sadly, some familiar and much-loved faces will be absent, in their midst Gerry Goddard who died on Saturday 10th November. Gerry was one of those who made my family so welcome in St Mary’s when we first came to Dunblane over twenty years ago. She served church and community diligently and cheerfully for so many years and will be greatly missed.

My hope is to accompany each one of you in the sadnesses and joys of your lives and that together we may be drawn closer to Christ. Please be assured of my prayers for you always.

With love,