Hot off the Press

I can’t believe it’s all over ~ well almost! As I type, I’m only too aware that my three month sabbatical is almost over; and that the same is also true of my almost 12 years serving as Vicar of Perton….

I’ve had an amazing break and after 15 years with the dog collar, it’s been a very welcome gift and privilege to have this time. Time with family and friends here and across the world, as I was able to visit my sister in Australia; time travelling ~ Melbourne, Tasmania, Sydney, Israel/Palestine, Ireland, London, Cheltenham, Reading; and time at home with no alarm-clock, other than the dog! Time planned and unplanned; time alone and with others; time to read, breathe, recharge, pray.

I’ve had an amazing almost 12 years on Perton ~ it too has been a gift and privilege to have these years as part of this special community. Not surprisingly, it’s impossible to compose any kind of summary which would do justice to this time. The Church At Perton has been a precious family, and I’ve enjoyed being part of the wider community here, getting to know so many, of all ages. Over these years, so much laughter and joy, as well as sharing so many tears; times celebrating faith, as well as living with doubts, as our life journeys have unfolded.

Paul and I have loved living here. I recently realised that I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else in my life, which just adds to how hard it’ll be to leave. It’s time for a new chapter. I trust and believe that I’m meant to become the next Team Rector based in Wombourne. At the same time, we’re really sad to leave this community which has been a special home for us. It’s a season of very mixed feelings for us both.

My final Sunday is 20th August, and you’re all welcome to join us at 10.30am in church if you’re able. The following week we move 6.9 miles(!} not far, yet a new chapter begins. Meanwhile, The Church At Perton ~ your Church ~ remains here, a place all are welcome, any time.

Can I ask you, please, to pray for the church family as they begin this new season without a Vicar and for the big decisions ahead? Please also pray for Paul and myself, and the people of Smestow Vale. And I will pray for you… Thank you for all your support, encouragement and friendship. It truly has been a privilege to serve the wonderful community of Perton as your Vicar.

A prayer of blessing for you all as I sign off…

May the peace of God, which far exceeds our understanding,

guard your hearts and your minds,

and keep them always in the knowledge and love of God,

and of God’s son, Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God Almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be with you and all those you love,

now and always. Amen.

Rev'd Julia

August 2023

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