Since I last wrote to you, we have said goodbye to three of our church stalwarts. Firstly, Alex Walker who left St Hilda’s to follow his vocation of ordination to the priesthood. Alex will be resident at The College of the Resurrection at Mirfield for the next two years. Alex was a great asset to St Hilda’s serving as a sacristan, thurifer, PCC member and on Deanery Synod. On the 17th September at Alex’s last Holy Mass with us, we presented him with a beautiful sick communion set. We wish him every blessing as he follows this new path.
Then on Sunday 1st October we said goodbye to Canon Paul Denby and his wife Julie, they are relocating to be nearer their daughter down south. Both Father Paul and Julie have worked tirelessly for St Hilda’s for the past 16 years. Both being members of the PCC and various committees. Far too many to list here. Their time and talents have shown no bounds.
We had a collection for them as well, to show how much we much we care for them. We presented them with a monetary gift, so when they are settled, they can buy something to remind themselves of their time here at St Hilda’s.
Alex, Fr Paul and Julie will be greatly missed, so we have now appealed to our congregation to help fill some of the gaps that we are now facing.
We are recruiting new Servers in the sanctuary, both male and female; we are looking for new members of the PCC, those to serve on the Croft and Maintenance Committees as we look to bring in new members but above all we are a team, a group of committed individuals that make up the body of Christ in the place.
Next year I shall celebrate my diamond anniversary as a priest, 60 years of faithful service with over 25 of those years spent served in this parish of St Hilda’s. Over that time there have been many changes, some good and others that cannot be rejoiced, but I truly believe we are on the threshold of becoming a team that will change the face of this church where young and old can coexist and all flourish as we serve of Lord in the best possibly way that we can.
No one is too old to take up a new role and neither is anyone to new to our church to take on a leadership role. It is time to think about ourselves and to take up the challenge of serving God in a way that is unfamiliar. Our aim must surely be to prepare for the next generation of worshippers for our church, to ensure that the fabric is strong and in good condition, perhaps to encourage one another to think about leading our worship from the choir pews. There are so many roles that you can do, why not have a go.
To help us we have the saints around us offering prayer for God’s people.
1st St Thérèse of Lisieux, born in 1873 in a small French town of Alencon. At 15 years of age she became a Carmelite nun and she had a vision of the baby Jesus, which she believed was a sign from God. She was a faithful young woman until her death in 1897. 4th St Francis of Assisi asked his followers to praise God in his Creation in every being, animals, and insects. 9th St John Henry Newman was a respected Anglican priest who became a Catholic in 1845. He was made a cardinal for his major contribution in spiritual writing. 15th Teresa of Ávila, born in 1515 and considered to be an intelligent woman. She joined a convent at 16 and became a nun 5 years later. She died in 1582 at the age of 67 and made a saint in 1622. Named a Doctor of the church because of her writing was an immense honour especially for women of her time; 18th St Luke the Evangelist was most probably what we would call a Vet but is considered to be the Patron Saint of Doctors and he was the writer of the third gospel and met our Lord.
The Reverend Fr Ronald Croft