Paul and Nicci left the parish in July 2021 with their final service on the 11th July; you can listen to Paul’s final sermon again here and take a look at the pictures of the farewell gathering after the service, here.
Roger and Gill, as wardens, are now responsible, with the help of all the congregation, for running the parish until a new incumbent is appointed.
Details will be updated on this page when available. – An updated timeline/timetable is now available here.
In the meantime, a word from both wardens about what to expect and who will be dealing with, or be responsbile for, what.
Although Paul does not officially leave post until 4th August, he is now on leave which means that effectively the care and running of St Bartholomew’s are now the responsibility of Gill and myself.
This does not (of course) mean that we will be doing everything, simply that the activities for which Paul was ultimately responsible have been divided up between us thus:
PastoralServices – including LLMs, visiting clergy etc.
Hospitality and Events
Pastoral Offices – Weddings, Baptisms & Funerals
Churchyard and Memorials
I will just talk a little about my areas of responsibility – I don’t want to steal Gill’s thunder!
Hopefully this can be left with Martin and Jane who actually understand all that is going on. I’m “the buck stops here” person, but we do need to ensure that our technology is robust and secure, and that we have enough trained hands to fill in for the Dines caravan weekends. At some point we may need to review whether we continue Zooming or not, but I imagine it will continue for the foreseeable future.
Another “buck stops here” role for me with Sue actually doing all the work.
Basically, any enquiries for Baptisms and Weddings need to be fed through to Sue who will then involve me to see if we need to arrange preparation and sourcing a priest.
Funerals are a little more complicated as the first point of call for the bereaved family is usually the undertaker who will then contact me to sort out dates and someone to take the service.
Churchyard and Memorials
Inscriptions on gravestones etc. need to be approved – presumably by me. I also need to ensure that any proposed memorials follow diocesan guidelines. I also need to monitor that the churchyard is kept in reasonable order, and that the rules relating to tidiness are not excessively violated.
I also seem to have “lumbered” myself with the task of providing bread for communion. If someone else would like to take this on then they will have my undying gratitude.
Please feel free to lobby Gill or myself about any of the areas for which either of us have responsibility. It is important to us to know if there are any underlying concerns or unanticipated issues about to erupt.
I also want to say a word about the next steps in the process to find a successor to Paul.
Gill and I will be working with the Assistant Area Dean and the Parish Development Officer towards drawing up a Parish Profile. This is a document that will tell a prospective incumbent all about the parish and help us to decide if candidates are a good fit with how we see our church functioning in the future.
We have already started taking soundings from the congregation which I am (slowly) massaging into a first rough draft. This will then go through various iterations following review at PCC and the Deanery before we then submit it to the congregation.
This is not however a top-down process. Your input is vital if we are to produce a profile that we believe will truly work for us. So please think about what type of incumbent we want – bearing in mind that this is a part time unpaid post of 3 days a week. How much effort are we as a congregation prepared to put into running the church? How do the rest of the village view what the church has to offer? What do they want it to offer? How relevant is the church in their lives?
Lots of questions and I’m not sure that we really understand how the non-worshiping residents of Ducklington view THEIR church. So, let’s get talking and asking questions. Answers to Gill and me or any member of the PCC.
And from Gill
We are following advice from the Bishop and the Deanery by keeping our services as they have been over the past year.
We will continue to have Service of the Word, taken by our LLMs (Ian, Dave, Johan), on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month and Holy Communion on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.
There will obviously be 5th Sundays in some months so we will plan something different such as a Song of Praise. If anyone has an idea, they feel would lend itself to a 5th Sunday service then please talk to any of our LLMs or Roger or myself.
We have been very blessed to have Rev Mary Carney offer to take our Holy Communion services on the 4th Sunday every month.
We have had offers from other ministers and even the Archdeacon to take a Holy Communion service on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
The Communion services will be led by one of our LLMs who will liaise with the minister 1-2 weeks before the service to help in planning and producing the order of service.
Please be assured that we will try, as much as possible, to keep to what we are familiar with, but Mary and the visiting clergy may bring different approaches which hopefully will enrich our worship and prayer.
The Interregnum is an opportunity for us all to continue to support each other and to build on our achievements. We can flourish in our new challenges by asking God for direction, grace, love and kindness.
Please talk to the Ministry team or churchwardens if you have any questions or suggestions. We will try to do our very best for you all.