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February 2019

This month’s letter is from Linda Joy.

Hello, my name is Linda and I am the new Children and Families Worker for the Holyford Mission Community. Thank you for the wonderful warm welcome I have received from many of you and I look forward to getting to know more people right across the community in 2019.

I started the role in September 2018 and have been busy working alongside the Noah’s Ark team and Messy Church team as well as popping up at the Breakfast Services at St Andrew’s.  I have also enjoyed exploring faith with the children of Branscombe School at weekly outdoors lunch club and visiting pre-schools and school assemblies.

I moved to Seaton last July, from a little Northamptonshire village where I had lived for 34 years.  There I was an Early Years Teacher, leading a pre-school and very involved over the years in the churches with children and their families.

It has been a privilege and a delight to have been welcomed into my new chapter of life in Devon by someone as warm and supportive as Hilary Dawson and I can see how much she is loved and will be missed by so many. 

In the packed church at her Leaving Service, Hilary said:  “There will always be things we have to lay down in order to receive the new things God wants to give us. May this Mission Community, and its many communities, always be places with the wisdom to value the treasures of the past, and yet the boldness to dream a new dream, do a new thing, and sing a new song.

Sometimes a new chapter is welcomed with excitement and we look forward to singing a ‘new song’ in our lives.  At other times we feel like we have had a new chapter thrust upon us – such as bereavement, divorce, redundancy, children going to school or university, health issues, and we can feel overwhelmed by trying to accept this new chapter and to ‘sing a new song’. 

But God says “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21 v5) and he promises to “Take hold of your hand and keep you” (Isaiah 42 v 6).  I have found these promises to be abundantly true, in my major life changes and move to Devon. 

I had to smile as I read further in Isaiah 42 v 10: “Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea.”  Isn’t that all of us who are blessed to live in such a wonderful part of the world, here in Devon by the sea? As we head further into 2019, we can depend on God’s promises and we can depend on one another in our communities as we make that journey together.

I thank you for the wonderful welcome I have received and I very much look forward to getting to know you all more.

Mission Community Quiet Day

St Rita’s Conference Centre, Honiton

Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10 am – 4 pm

How these ancient texts may lead into the all-encompassing Mystery of God, with Canon Patrick Woodhouse

The Psalms are treasured texts within both the Jewish and Christian traditions, and yet they can also be difficult, even forbidding, coming from an ancient and very different world.

On this Quiet Day we shall touch on what these ancient texts are, when they were written, and out of what kind of contexts they emerged; but mainly we shall explore the power of their meanings for us today, and how they can nourish a deep life of prayer and contemplation, enabling us to see ourselves and the world differently.

Patrick Woodhouse is a writer and Anglican priest. Recently he published Life in the Psalms (Bloomsbury 2015) and Etty Hillesum, a Life Transformed (Bloomsbury 2009), the story of a young Jewish diarist who died in Auschwitz. He was for thirteen years a Canon of Wells Cathedral. He now lives in South Somerset.

The day is provided free, including lunch, with an opportunity to make a donation to the Mission Community. Please sign up on the sheets which will be in the back of the church from Sunday 3rd February, by Monday 18th February at the latest. Please also indicate whether you need transport.

Rev John Lees appointed Prebendary

John with his wife Jan during their recent holiday in New Zealand

We are delighted that the Bishop of Exeter has appointed John Lees as a Prebendary. This honorary title will be conferred at an Evensong at Exeter Cathedral on Sunday, 10th February at 4pm. All are welcome to attend the service to support John and celebrate this with him. If you need transport please contact David Fouracre or Christine Sansom. John continues as an associate priest within the Holyford Mission Community.

Children’s dates New Year 2019

Our children’s events start again in the New Year and all are very welcome!

Messy Church continues at the Reece Strawbridge Centre from 4.00-6.00 pm on Sundays January 13th, February 10th and March 10th.

Noah’s Ark at Colyford Hall from 1.15-2.45 pm continues fornightly on Thursdays, dates January 10th and 24th and February 7th and 28th.