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From the Rectory
January 2006

It is such a strange feeling to sit and write this article from the Rectory in Paynes Road, our new home. The boxes have been emptied, our furniture and belongings put in place and even the cat has now settled. All of this and I have yet to be licensed by the bishop. It's Advent, Christmas is still a week away. It's surreal, and yet this is how many people spend their lives, rushing forward into the future whilst the present escapes them. No time to stop and appreciate the NOW of life.

After leaving Knights Enham in Andover, Lysbeth and I went for a week's holiday in Cornwall. One day as we walked along the beach in St. Ives I said to Lys, "aren't we lucky to be here walking along the beach". Lucky indeed to have such an opportunity before taking up the role as your Priest in Charge, time to stop and pause for both of us. Time to appreciate the 'now'.

There before us in the sand were the footprints of those who had walked along the beach before us. Visible signs of their journeys left in their footprints. They had gone on, only the footprints left to remind us of their presence. Our own footprints would soon be washed away by the sea and only history would be left to record them.

I come to Freemantle, following in the footsteps of others who have walked beside you as fellow pilgrims. They too have moved on, and we have moved in. Come to share your journey, to be fellow pilgrims along the way of life with you. At this moment in time we remember the journey of the 'Wise Men' made as they came seeking their New born King. They left their footprints in the history of time. They found their King and returned whence they came. Jesus came and walked the journey of life here on earth and walks still with those who try to follow in his footsteps. Our footprints wiii never fit into his, but his, if we are iucky will leave their imprint on our hearts. A new year stretches ahead for all of us, what will it bring I wonder, where will it lead, where will our footprints be left in 2006? Wherever it may be remember that the Lord God Almighty will be walking with you. I leave you with this verse, which is usually printed in a shorter form but here in a longer version.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way!".

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God trod gladly into the night. And he led me towards ihe hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

God Bless,