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September 2018

During my recent sabbatical leave I had the opportunity to spend time in different church contexts and was hugely grateful for the hospitality I received and all that I was able to learn.  Likewise, it is a privilege to welcome colleagues to our churches here.  For a few weeks this summer we have been joined by Revd Katharine Hawksley from Chard.  It has been lovely to get to know her and learn from her and we wish her well for the future.  Hilary

Katharine writes:

I’ve been on placement in the Holyford Mission Community for six weeks. I’m just starting my third year of curacy in Chard and I do a placement as part of my training. During my time with you, I’ve had the opportunity to come to community groups such as Noah’s Ark, the pre-school group in Colyford, Southleigh Fayre and the Community Café in Colyton – this does make it sound as though I’ve spent six weeks drinking coffee! Joking aside, it has been a blessing to meet so many people and to hear their stories. Groups like these are so important to the communities in which we live. They provide outreach and support for many people and are cherished and appreciated.

I’ve also spent time with the congregations in the Mission Community too. It’s been a delight to take part in your worship and to learn about each of the churches. They are all very different and have their own unique personality.

The one thing I have gleaned from my time with you is that the Mission Community really is a community. It has been wonderful to see communities which work on their own, but also with the communities around them. The people who live around us are so important. It can be easy to feel isolated but working together strengthens who we are. It is encouraging to see parishes working well together and communities which care for one another.

The early Christians were a community. They weren’t simply a group who came together on a Sunday. They often lived together, ate together and provided outreach for those in need. Society was community focussed; people took care of one another and family was important. They didn’t have as much as we do and lived in a patriarchal society and so they depended on one another for survival. The society we live in today is very different. It is one that focusses on the individual and on their dreams and aspirations. That is no bad thing and it encourages people to grow and develop, however it can feel that something has been lost along the way. That is why the Mission Community is so important. It’s a group of people coming alongside to support one another.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to each and everyone of you for your welcome and your time. It’s truly been a pleasure to be with you for these six weeks. I wish you every blessing for the future.

Katharine

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