This month.....

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who has made me so welcome as I start my ministry amongst you. All
Saints All Cannings was comfortably full for my Licensing service on 8th June and over the last week (I’m
writing this 10 days later) so many people have added their personal welcome to the welcomes at the
service.
As you can imagine I’ve got a lot to learn; I’m getting a sense of the geography and how to get around the
benefice but at the moment I’m still quite reliant on the satnav built into my phone (isn’t it amazing the
amount of things that a mobile phone can do, you can even make telephone calls!). I’m meeting lots of
interesting people and learning a few names but that’s a job that will take me quite a time.
There’s lots about Salisbury Diocese that I need to learn about too. Every Diocese does things slightly
differently and inevitably, I’m going to find out what these differences are as compared to what I am used to
from Leicester Diocese. Salisbury Diocese runs an induction course for people new to the diocese so in the
autumn I shall be doing that which I’m certain will be really helpful.
So I’m going to have a summer of learning. But in Church the long season after Trinity Sunday is a season of
learning too. Often called Ordinary Time the few weeks after Candlemas, at the end of the Christmas
focused seasons, and before Ash Wednesday, when we start to prepare for Easter, and then the weeks after
Trinity Sunday until we get to November are marked by green hangings in Church and clergy wearing green
robes. During these ‘green’ times the lectionary takes us through some of the books of the Old and New
Testaments and the Gospel for the year, Matthew this year, serially.
So rather than having Sunday readings that relate to the Sunday over the green seasons we get a sense of
the story of scripture unfolding. I always find it interesting to see how scripture speaks to me anew over
these periods. Last summer what struck me was the sequence of reading we had in the Old Testament. We
worked through many of the books of the prophets and saw how again and again the people of Israel, often
badly lead by the king of the day, drifted away from God and how things went wrong for them when this
happened. The prophets, holding a metaphorical mirror up to the society of their day, worked to draw the
people and society back, with varying results.
The readings we shall have over the next months will miss bits out and I’m always interested in those bits
too! Sometimes these are interjections into a story that bookends the interjection. Sometimes these missed
bits are just a little too ‘interesting’ for a mixed ‘audience’ on a Sunday morning. They are often worth
reading at home!
Many people are not able to get to church each week but you don’t have to miss out. Make certain you pick
up a copy of Grapevine and the readings are listed there so you can keep up with the story. It’s a bit like
keeping up with your favourite soap opera (mine is the Archers and has been for over 50 years) by reading a
synopsis.
I wonder what will strike us in the scriptures over the next months. If there is something that really jumps
out at you do let me know I’d be fascinated to hear how scripture is speaking to you.
Yours in Christ
Richard Curtis