Letter to Rowbarton Methodist Church

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Dear friends

This is just to let you know that I am now 'officially!' back from my sabbatical - rather than the more unofficial preceding days during which I have been in contact with our churches and circuit.

Firstly, I want to say a huge 'Thank you!' to Rev Tony Cox who has looked after you so well during my absence.  I know that his care and ministry has been hugely appreciated, and I am wondering whether I can hope to fill his very large shoes!

I hope that you are all doing well, and whilst I know that many of you are able to keep up to date with things via electronic means, I will be particularly contacting those who are not so connected over the next few days.

I hope you have had a chance to read the first instalment of my sabbatical reflections.  They focus on the strange feeling of exile which I experienced during my 3 months away from the circuit.  A rather appropriate theme for all of us as it turns out - although I hope you don't feel as if you are in exile.  There are many arrangements in place to help us all to stay in touch and to offer help to those who need it.  So don't sit alone wondering who will help you with a problem, please ring me or your pastoral link, and you will find support.

May I finish with a Blessing from John O'Donahue's book 'Bless the space between us', and may God bless each of us - and the space between us - this day and all days.


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning