Our new Associate Vicar is due to be Licensed to the Benefice by the Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewes later this month.
Fr. Herbert Bennett’s principal responsibility will be at St Thomas’, and we look forward very much to welcoming him.
Ahead of his arrival, he sent this message of welcome to all parishoners:
Dear Parishioners and Brother George,
Warmest greetings to each and every one of you. I do hope this letter finds you well and able to be enjoying some of the lovely sunshine around us in these days.
In the continuing times of lock-down and social isolation you will know we have, since Easter, been journeying through the great 50 Days of Eastertide – to Ascension, then Whitsun and just now, coming to Trinity. With our Lord ascended and with the Holy Ghost sent to us, the fulfilment of the promises of Easter has come about and that brings us now to being part of that great call from God to proclaim the great news of salvation won in Jesus Christ to all in this season of Trinity.
So may we all reflect on the risen life we all have offered to us in Christ and seek to share that with others – by what we do, by what we say and by what we are. For every little gentle word, loving gesture or kindly act seeks to proclaim that great news of Christ’s salvation and of the Kingdom of Heaven brought near in our midst.
As most of you will now know I am presently coming to join you as a self-supporting priest to serve at St Thomas a Becket. This is indeed a great joy for me to become a partaker with you all in this great proclamation. However, I can well understand from my own experiences, how this period of social isolation in lock-down, during the world-wide Corona virus pandemic, has been very difficult for many and in various ways, not least of course, being unable to worship in church.
However, I very much look forward to being with you all and Brother George, and once the beautiful St Thomas a Becket church is re-opened, to welcome you and for you to welcome me as together we come to worship God, grow in discipleship and proclaim His loving salvation in Christ in the days ahead during the season of Trinity.
May I leave you, for now, with the comforting words of the BCP Collect for Trinity Sunday which collects all our thoughts so well :-
‘Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest , one God, world without end.’
And may the peace of God , which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord’ Amen.
With my very best wishes and prayers and looking forward to meeting and coming to know you all,