The Reverend Simon Pritchard...
Our Vicar, Simon, is currently on sabbatical/study leave and we wish him well as he takes his well-earned time out to study in greater depth, to consider his ministry and to refresh his mind, body and soul.
Sabbatical leave is a period away from parochial/congregational responsibilities, normally of two to three months’ duration. The fundamental purpose of a sabbatical is to have a time for rest, renewal and recreation so as to return refreshed in one’s ministry. It is not simply the same as extended study leave, although there will be
elements of study in a sabbatical; nor is it a simple ministry exchange.
It should combine the following elements:
1. Study and development
2. Space for reflection – time for self and for God
The overall aim is that it should be a help to ministry, either directly (if the emphasis is on study or skills), or indirectly (if the emphasis is more on personal development).
I am not party to what Simon has planned for this time - and anyway that is for him and his ministerial colleagues and friends to have decided - but I sincerely hope and pray, as I trust you are all doing, that he will return refreshed. In the meantime we will be blessed by visiting clergy and others who will take on the normal schedule of services - although there may have to be some tweaks here and there.
We too can become refreshed during this time. We too can use this time to study in greater detail and we too can look forward to being refreshed in mind, body and soul by differing aspects of worship which we have not met before. So, as we all seek to change and move on in our faith, let us spend these next few weeks praying for each other, for Simon and for ourselves - that the Spirit of Pentecost may enthuse our lives and
enrich our church.