Our new minister, Rev Peter Fairbrother,
writes for the first time in Waymark
It's with a heart filled with joy that I'd like to begin with two very important words, ‘thank you’.
Thank you supporting my candidature to be your minister, thank you for placing your trust in me, and thank you for all the lovely well wishes and messages of congratulation that I've received subsequent to the Special General Meeting in March. I am deeply touched and most grateful for your warmth, kindness, and generosity.
It is both an honour and a privilege to be elected to serve as your minister, a role I will endeavour to hold with the utmost care and sensitivity, as well as with passion, enthusiasm, and good humour.
As you may already be aware I start on the 14 May, with my first Sunday service occurring on the 20 May. It feels particularly apt that my first service occurs on the Christian festival of Pentecost, a time of hope, celebration, and new beginnings. At time of writing I am amidst preparations for this service and indeed for my first collection of services as your new minister. And I'm very much with the energies of endings and beginnings as I prepare to relinquish my existing employment with the NHS, whilst at the same time making plans for stepping into this wonderful new role with yourselves. Perhaps you are with these energies too in acknowledging the end of one era at St Mark's and the beginning of another? It is an exciting time, a time of much planning and organisation, and also a time of great possibility and promise. And I'm with a big smile in being with it all.
During the candidating service I spoke of the importance of connection and community, of simply being present and sensitive to the worlds occurring within us and around us. For me this is the beating heart of ministry, and as I prepare to embark upon our journey together, I hold it as my touchstone. I come with one sole and gentle intention: to simply be with you.
In instances where we haven't yet met I'm looking forward to saying ‘hello’. And where we already have some familiarity with each other I'm looking forward to deepening our relationship. Whether your connection to St Mark's is held through Sunday service, Mindfulness @ Lunchtime or the Sangha, nurtured through church groups and meetings, maintained by Facebook, or sustained through the pages of this very newsletter, I'd like for us to take time and care in getting to know each other.
With this I'm mindful of our mutual commitment to ministry, and to the myriad of ways in which this is expressed: some occurring within our physical church space and some outwith, such as through personal spiritual practice, the ministries of daily life, and in all that we hold and carry around with us wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. As your minister I bow to it all, I celebrate the diversity of who we are and how we are, and I look forward to exploring with you ways in which we can nurture and grow our community as we journey together. Exciting times, new times, new beginnings. Doors wide open. Let’s see what we will find.