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Views from the Vicarage - July/August 2019

Dear Friends,

This month the magazine is a joint one for July and August. My final article will be in the September magazine and my last Service at S. Mary's will be our Patronal Festival (the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary) at 10.15am Parish Eucharist on the 8th September. I would love to see as many of you as possible at my final Service and there will be glass of wine (or sherry) afterwards. I understand that there will also be a farewell do on Friday the 13th September, this is exactly twenty-seven years since I was made Vicar here. It is going to be quite a wrench for me to leave such a wonderful church and town in which I have served most of my working life.

July and August are usually holiday times. Not only is it part of God's plan in creation that we should have a day of rest, but that having time for ourselves and our families, to get away from it all, and have a time of relaxation, a time to recharge the batteries, and to explore and see different places in our wonderful world. Holidays are important for us. Originally, as the name suggests, they were times to celebrate the festivals of the church - holy days! But also people went on pilgrimages to the holy places, to the Holy Land or Rome or Santiago di Compostela or even to Canterbury.

Now we can go all over the world with the availability of comparatively modest air prices and a vast range of holidays available. I had my first experience of Centre Parks spending a few days at the end of May half term with my son and grandson. Later this month I am going with my wife Anne back to Madeira for our tenth wedding anniversary. These holidays enable us to bond as families and strengthen our relationships.

I have spent nearly all my life going to church on a Sunday. Being on holiday or being retired does not stop me trying to get to church every Sunday. I have had some wonderful moments going to churches in other countries. I usually try to get a copy of the service (in French or Italian or Spanish) so I can fully participate in the Mass and have often been asked to concelebrate. What a joy! I hope you too will experience going to other churches while on holiday. It is one thing I hope to do after I retire is to see what goes on in other churches as I have rarely been to other churches in this country, before I settle down and offer my services to a particular church.

I have led a very blessed life and thank you all for sharing and serving God in this place.

My Prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar