“Yes the Christian ideal is personal goodness, of course, but the personal goodness requires that we be more than pious, more than faithful to the system, more than mere card carrying members of the Christian community. Christianity requires, as well, that we each be so much a prophetic presence that our corner of the world becomes a better place because we have been there. There is no room here for dedicating a lifetime to maintaining the perfect spiritual routine, the antiseptic moral cleanliness, an acerbic & long-suffering silence alone. None of that, in fact, marked the life of Jesus himself, who “consorted with sinners,” healed foreigners, called women to discipleship, contended with scribes & Pharisees about the nature of the faith itself, & irritated leaders of both the temple & the throne, both religion & government. Instead, the call of Jesus is the call to prophesy, to speak a word of God to a world that prefers religious rituals & spiritual comfort to the demands of moral maturity. It is to be a prophet’s witness in a prophetless place. Prophetic spirituality calls us to walk in the wake of the biblical prophets of ancient Israel, to hear the word of God for the world & repeat it, shout it, model it until the world comes awake. It is to demand it until the hungry are fed & the sick are cared for & the violent are sent away empty of their power to destroy. Prophets then & prophets now are those who look at life as it is – hard of heart for many, unfair for most - & set out to expand it. Prophets simply refuse to accept a vision of tomorrow that is limited to the boundaries of yesterday & empty of God’s word for today.” “The Time is Now” Sr Joan Chittister OSB
At our Parish Forum in February 2018, I raised with the Parish my need for administrative help, & through the Vision Group & prayer & discussions at our Parish Forum’s since then, together with an increased workload at the Abbey through my work on the Council & as a Trustee, the need has been proven. The amalgamation of our three local Churches brings an urgency, & after discussions with the Vision Group, the Chairs of Finance for each Church, Fr Edgar, & Julia Brooke (the Trust Delegate for the Parishes) we are to proceed immediately towards appointing a Parish Administrator to a temporary post for 6 months, with the possibility of the role becoming permanent. The closing date for applications is this coming Monday 4th Nov, with interviews mid Nov, with the hope of the successful candidate being in place by early January 2020. We envisage they will work Tues/Wed/Thurs each week, possibly 15/16 hours per week with a 9.30am start and early finish to suit those who may have young children of school age. A job description & person specification are available from me, or from the advert on the Abbey website. We have formed a small coordinating group with two members from each of our three Churches, to look at a number of issues which need identifying & addressing in the short term, until we can form a united Parish Pastoral Council in the New Year. Membership is as follows: Gerard Simpson & Peter O’Neill (Oswaldkirk): Clare Lally & Francis Locke (Gilling) & Mary Borrett & Dominic Carter (Ampleforth). They will meet for the first time this coming week, & we can expect to be contacted by them to seek wise advice & help in both spiritual & practical aspects of the amalgamation.
Last weekend, after the Saturday Vigil Mass in Gilling, our parishioners there organised coffee & homemade biscuits after Mass, encouraging those from Ampleforth to stay behind & to begin to get to know each other. Our gratitude to them for a lovely moment, when perhaps 30 of the 41 at Mass were able to stay & take part. With my love & prayers Fr Bede.