Click here for Fr Rob’s departing sermon: 2nd Sunday before Lent 18 – leaving
Here is a PDF of Fr Rob’s goodbye letter to the church: Leaving Letter
It has been difficult trying to think of what to write in this goodbye letter. The last four years have passed so quickly and we have done so much together. It is no secret that being a vicar can be a stressful job, but it is also most privileged. Together, overtime, we have grown and shown what a community can truly be. We have laughed and cried together, we have bickered and had amazing fun.
In many ways, we have helped each other model what a Christian community can be; we have engaged in both corporal and spiritual acts of mercy: sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, anointing and praying for the sick, releasing people from oppression (especially of isolation and loneliness). We have led people by teaching and example towards Christ, forgiven each other, prayed for our communities and the living and the dead.
Our church has become a place of sanctuary to so many, as we have opened its doors to different demographics and generations. We have become an outward community as we have been happy to be seen and known as Christ’s church in the community. We have lived the life of faith in the most amazing ways. We have found joy in walking the path of faith together, going on pilgrimage, praying, and, most of all, uniting in one common purpose around God’s holy Altar.
The memories and moments we have shared are far too many to number, but I for one will take them with me as I journey on under God’s direction. I will never forget you, nor what we have achieved here. As you gaze into the future, remain brave and courageous, and watch for the mysterious opportunities God places before you. Keep the Faith! You are all very special and you must never forget that you are always loved by the one who calls us to unbelievable things in his name, Jesus Christ our loving and merciful Lord.
I depart wishing you love and peace. Thank you for all you are.
Click here for a copy of Fr Rob’s final letter to the Village – January Newsletter
Midnight Mass Sermon – http://geddingtonchurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Midnight-Mass-2017.pdf
Midnight Mass is one of the richest and most meaningful services of the year. As Christmas Eve turns into Christmas day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and join around the Holy Altar.
Midnight Mass is the richest and most symbolic service of the season. It is devotional, mystical and communal. Everyone is welcome to God’s Holy Altar where we share and receive God’s mysterious and precious gifts of bread and wine, becoming for us Christ’s body and blood – uniting us and binding us together in the Christian narrative of love and service.
Bring the whole family. It is an experience that children and adults will cherish and will remain with them throughout the year. It will give Christmas day depth and meaning beyond anything you’ve experienced since a child.
Sunday 24th December at 11pm, Geddington Church
The magnificent Christmas Carol Concert is on
Sunday 17th December at 4pm
At Geddington Church.
Fr Rob has been invited to become, and accepted the post of, Vicar of All Saints’, Orpington in the London Borough of Bromley and Diocese of Rochester.
Fr Rob Says “I feel very privileged and humbled to have been asked to take on this larger post. It has many opportunities for ministry and the family and I are looking forward to this new challenge. It is however with sadness that we leave Geddington and Weekley. Sarah, Jasmine, Thomas and I have grown very fond of these villages and especially the people who live here. We have made many, many friends. Even though there was some really tough work to do when we first arrived, having addressed much of that we have seen our churches move into new eras of vibrancy, growth and expectancy. Thank you to all who have supported God’s work in this place, which has resulted in our churches becoming more visible, open and welcoming to our villages, whilst growing depth and richness in our worship and spirituality.
The next period will be different, but no less exciting. Keep the faith and hold your nerve, and God will build richly upon all the foundations we have laid together. But before then, we have a rich and full Advent and Christmas season to journey through together – let’s make it the best one yet!”
Many of us will be very sad to see Rob, Sarah, Jasmine and Thomas leave but we wish them every success in the future.
Fr Rob’s last Sunday here will be 4th February 2018 and his Licensing and Induction at All Saints’, Orpington will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th February 2018. You are all most warmly invited along.
Much more than worship
Most people encounter church through our worship – the services that we offer each week. This is sometimes referred to as the liturgy. engaging in the Church’s liturgy is one of the most important elements of the Christian life, because it is when individuals come together into community in order to encounter Jesus through the tradition and teachings of the Church, to think about Christ’s goodness and how it calls us to change so that we may live more in tune with that goodness. The church in Geddington has been meeting in this way for over a thousand years. Today we continue to build on that tradition.
We continue to operate an open catholic style of worship that is ecumenically inviting and engaging to all ages. In our congregation we have many people who are new to Church and love the richness of the services, as well as many who have joined us from Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches. We continue the tradition where incense is used four times a year in the main service to help us heighten our spiritual focus on the really important festivals of the local church; these are Midnight Mass (Christmas Eve), The Easter Vigil (Easter Eve), the Feast of St Mary Magdalene and the Requiem Mass to commemorate the Death of Eleanor of Castile (6th Dec by Royal Edict). The rest of the time what we do is ordered and recognisably church, whilst being gentle, inviting, informative and engaging.
Each week, we come together to give thanks to God for his many blessings – even life itself – and offer our lives in his service. A person cannot encounter Jesus properly on their own, else we simply manipulate him into something that is comfortable and easy to us – in other words, we make him in our own image. Christ comforts, but he also challenges. We need to be with others to hear that challenge. So Christians attend church regularly, even if it feels inconvenient or challenges our priorities. Being a Christian calls us to place church high up our agenda.
Being a Christian is not always easy – it is a life-long journey. But it is in perseverance that we move closer to God and overtime become more aware of him guiding us, walking alongside us, and ultimately bringing us into his risen and eternal life.
But our life together involves far more than just liturgy and worship. There are numerous other occasions when you might cross the Church’s path: the daily morning cafe, coffee mornings, Noah’s Ark toddler group, care in the community, being visited by a church member, fêtes, events, youth and children’s work, study and fellowship groups, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals and many other situations. Just to hear a kind word or to receive an act of kindness is to receive a blessing from God as he passes his goodness down through his people, the Church.