A message from the Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Posted by Admin on 15 February 2021, 3:25 pm

The Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Assistant Curate

2 St Faiths Rd


PO31 7HH

Tel: 01983 652506

Email: steve.alan.sutcliffe@icloud.com

My dear friends,

This will be my final Newsletter piece to you all as Assistant Curate of Northwood and Gurnard Churches. So I write this piece with many mixed emotions. A degree of sadness of course, tinged with excitement at my new post. In early April I am to be licensed as a Team Vicar for Newport and Carisbrooke with Gatcombe.

My time shared with you all has been such a blessing and I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being so welcoming. You quickly welcomed me into your community and made me feel like an old familiar friend. You have guided and supported me in this role. Nurturing me and offering me important feedback which I will take with me, onwards into my next adventure.

In the time that I have been with you, a little over two and a half years, you have shone a light on the fantastic work that goes on within a community, so often unnoticed. The bonds that have formed over time within these communities are strong and they support a number of what would otherwise be, isolated, lonely individuals. And I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for doing such a wonderful job.

This past year has been one of the most difficult years in our nation’s history, certainly in most of our living memories. Yet I have been moved by the outpouring of support for people that has accompanied this difficult time. Shopping trips for those shielding, collecting prescriptions, telephoning people making sure they are alright, food parcels for folk are amongst numerous other ways that you have shone a light of hope in these dark times.

In all of these kind, generous ways that people support one another I see God at work. The good that is within us all. And at each one of the churches in our area, I see people trying to do the same. Reaching out, attempting to constantly rejuvenate those bonds that make a community and offer opportunities for people to support one another.

And here’s a spoiler alert for you, as an Assistant Curate, I must declare an interest! But your Church is always keen to develop new initiatives that can help other people through this adventure of life.

When we had our first lockdown (remember that, it seems like 50 years ago now!), I remember hearing a phrase, over and over again. Sadly, not so much nowadays as we are all so demoralised from this pandemic. But the phrase I heard was ‘we can’t go back to the way things were, after this lockdown, after this pandemic…’ And in hearing those words, I must admit, my heart skipped a beat. Things can be different. We can recognise the often unnoticed work that goes on and we can champion it. We can support those who support others and be part of a community that values everybody and values the bonds that bring us together. Things can be different.

Your local church is keen to be at the heart of the community. Within each individual that attends, lies a heart that yearns to help others. That wants to bring an end to loneliness and isolation. That wants to offer a brief moment of respite for carers, exhausted but dedicated to caring for their loved ones.

Will you be a part of that? Will you play a part in rebuilding and rejuvenating a community that reaches out to all people? Ready to build upon the foundations that so many people have laid in the years before? If you are then your church wants to hear from you. If we are to truly change the way things were in the past, if we are to look afresh to the future and change those things that we didn’t like, then we need you!

So please consider coming along to one of the many events that, in normal times, will bring people together and get to know others. Build up those relationships that will ease those awkward moments, and talk to people like you who are keen to make a difference in the world. For in the midst of support lies love and in the midst of love, lies God.

May I wish you all a future that brings you love, joy and happiness and a sense of wholeness that faith can bring to us all. God Bless you.

Rev’d Steve xxx

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