From the vicar...
It amuses me that every year I am surprised by Easter. The date of Easter is known decades, nay, centuries, in advance! Easter is upon us (already?) and we are invited to have our Lenten contrition turned into joy in the light of the resurrection. There are other reasons I have found myself saying “already?” such as the fact that we are saying goodbye to Revd Raymond this Easter Sunday, even though I have known this news since January. It feels like only yesterday we were welcoming you, Raymond, yet nearly three years have passed. A curacy is a finite journey and it has been wonderful to have had Raymond walking alongside us on this part of our shared pilgrimage. We are enormously grateful for all you have given to the life of St John’s, you leave a wonderful legacy, not least in the form of this very publication, and we hold many happy memories. Raymond, we wish you well in your new post as Deputy Director of Ordinands, and Director of Vocations, we are glad you won’t be too far away, and we look forward to welcoming you and John back to visit in future. (Do read the lovely profile interview with Raymond in this edition.)
It is difficult to believe that it is a whole year since the loss of our dear friend, the Revd Deepthi Wickremasinghe. A year already? In lockdown, it feels as though grief is deferred, or put ‘on hold’, and it has been impossible for us to gather together in our shared loss. It is lovely to read of people’s individual memories of Deepthi, and we look forward to the time when we can corporately gather to give thanks for her life. While we wait for that day, we are encouraging you to consider contributing to an appeal in her memory: for the Woodland Trust, who work to preserve woodlands. Trees, like our friend Deepthi, have deep roots, and share their energy, goodness and shelter with the world around them. Thank you for all you are able to give.
I’m enormously thankful for the energy and life we find in our scattered St John’s community, do read about the way our coffee morning continues online, and how our Director of Music, John Webber, has kept our adult and junior choirs together. Along with descriptions of local walks, a history of Goose Green, and an article about the intriguing painting in the Revd Anne Clarke’s study, this month’s Gander is another faithful offering of love and creativity for the benefit of whole community. Thank you to all who have contributed this month.
As we approach the empty tomb this Easter, may we be greeted by the God who surprises us with joy, and walks alongside us wherever we are.
With love and blessings,
Revd Gill O'Neill