My dear friends
It is with great delight that we welcome Revd Bev Robertson back to our Team, as she begins her Back to Work programme! It has been a long and difficult pilgrimage for Bev, and still continues to be so, but with rest and perhaps a more different pace of life, wholeness and fullness in ministry will be restored.
Bishop David has overseen Bev’s return to work, and been very instrumental and directive in how it should be applied and adhered to. And part of that directive was an endorsement of a change of roles and responsibilities for Bev – and Christine Holzapfel.
I don’t feel I need to go over the decisions agreed by the parish representatives (of putting Finstall with Dodford and Catshill with All saints’) when Bev and Christine came to post – but for those of you who said the workload and distribution of population seemed disproportionate were right. And it’s certainly a factor that Bev has reflected on during her time off.
To this end, and in consultation with Christine Holzapfel, myself and ultimately Bishop David, a proposal was put forward that we revert to the historic union of Catshill and Dodford to be under Bev’s wing , and the new union of Finstall and All Saints’ to be under Christine’s. I must say here that both Christine and I (let alone Bev) were cautiously enthusiastic about this reformation on many levels, not least of which was to even the workload, but also to demonstrate our ability to work cohesively as Team.
With Bishop David’s very firm and authoritative seal of approval, and in consultation with various other Diocesan authorities about the legalities, this new way of being will come into effect from 1st January 2014.
Just to let you know, this was all discussed at some length with all the Churchwardens of our churches a while ago and hopefully by now all DCCs will be aware of what will happen.
Finally Dodford PCC met on Monday and has passed a resolution inviting the Bishop to appoint Bev as the Chair of their PCC (that being the only ‘legal’ aspect to this change)
Suffice to say, there will certainly be a degree sadness felt by some, feeling they have ‘lost’ either Christine or Bev as their Team Vicar – but the reality is that the beauty of Team means that we’re all in this together – and nobody has really lost anyone!
As part of Bev’s back to work programme, the ‘swap’ will be handled as sensitively and as appropriately as possible, with Bev and Christine often sharing services up to the end of the year. In addition we have been greatly blessed with wonderful clergy and lay support in all this, not least of all from Tom, Pat, Margaret, Peter, Sue and Clive and of more latterly of course, Carey, for which I and many others give enormous thanks. And in our discussions that level of support and commitment to Team will continue through 2014 and beyond.
And so I do ask that you continue your prayers for us and each other as we evolve as Team – a dynamic Team in more ways than one – and hold all our ministers, ordained, authorised and acknowledged in your daily prayers as we seek more to become God’s Kingdom people.
Yours in Christ
Revd Chris Wingfield
Team Rector Bromsgrove parish