Welcome to St Mary Magdalene Church in the heart of Taunton. We have several visitors with us today for my last Sunday as incumbent of the benefice of St Mary Magdalene and St John the Evangelist. I am pleased that the congregation from St John’s has joined us for the 10 o’clock service this morning. I am so glad that you have been able to come. It means a great deal to us both.
Today is Trinity Sunday and here is a reminder of the classic definition about the nature of God: God is one but three coeternal consubstantial persons – the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit – as “one God in three Divine Persons”. It also marks the beginning of Ordinary Time which lasts until Advent Sunday.
Last week, I went through several “final times” as my time here draws to an end. One of the most special was the final Voice PC that I took. For the last 20 minutes, I led the young people out onto the church roof and there, with the sunlight slowly fading, we enjoyed communion together. It was most memorable and special. I am really pleased and grateful that Nick Jerrett, Liz Sykes and Maureen Arnold will be continuing with our young people.
Rita and I are disappointed that we will not be here to see whether Bullet and Bulletina’s eggs hatch (expected on 7th June). We have had many visitors come into the church to view the live CCTV footage. The two young birds have taken it in turns to incubate and have worked extremely hard at their task.
Rita and I have been very touched by the cards and gifts we have received as well as lots of good wishes. We will miss you all. Our new address is freely available from the office, if you wish to have it.
Our church is ready and prepared for interregnum and I have no doubt that folk will work very hard to continue sharing the light of Jesus with the people of Taunton. Rita and I will leave Taunton on Tuesday evening, and stay, with Jack, in a Travelodge in Cheltenham, ready to receive the removal van at the Priory Vicarage on Wednesday morning. We are most fortunate to have had a lot of help in the moving process and our new vicarage has been cleaned and is ready. We look forward to greeting you all on 24th June for the Collation. We really hope that will be a happy and worshipful occasion.
On behalf of Rita and myself, may I thank you for the love and support you have given us over the last 12 years – you have been amazing!
Every blessing to you all,
Rod, Rita and Jack