St Mary Magdalen
Church Services and Events
September Events and Activities
Sundays - 10:00 a.m.
Wednesdays - 10:00 a.m.
This year we will be celebrating Harvest on Saturday 30 Sept (2:00 - 4:00 pm) with a Family fun craft tea event in the hall.
Sunday 10:00 during our service we will be collecting food produce for Christian Aid and our local Food Bank.
We have different gifts according to the grace given to us
A letter from
Revd Dr. Adam
to download the latest Benefice News click on the PDF
During Adam's sabbatical. Please contact;
Revd Polly Falconer
Tel: 07949 783297
20 June 2023
Welcome to this double issue of Benefice News. On 13th June I will begin a period of sabbatical and annual leave lasting four months. I will return to duties on Sunday 15th October. In the mean time the staff team will hold the fort, along with the churchwardens and PCC officers.
The opportunity for a sabbatical is offered to all licensed ministers who are office-holders every ten years as a sustained period away from normal duties for professional development and personal enrichment. A sabbatical has three elements:
1. Rest. A sabbatical is not intended as a holiday, but the biblical pattern of Sabbath does include rest as a vital part of life. It is, therefore, appropriate and necessary that it includes some time of rest and refreshment. The entitlement to periods of annual leave is not included in a sabbatical, and is not lost.
2. Renewal. This is the element of personal and/or professional development. It will involve some element of learning probably through study and theological reflection. It is designed to widen horizons or deepen thinking in a particular area, rather than simply revisiting familiar territory.
3. Retreat The sabbatical includes some time set aside for prayer and contemplation. This means retreating from church, work, family and responsibility to refresh one’s spiritual life.
What will I be doing with my sabbatical?
Rest: I will be resting. This is primarily mental rest. St Paul writes at the end of a list of his hardships, ‘And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches.’ (2 Cor 11.28) This year I will have been ordained 33 years, ministering at St George’s 25 years and at St Mary Magdalen’s 21 years. You don’t notice the way in which longterm anxiety creeps up on you and quietly dominates your life. So, my hope is that for these few months I will relax mentally, knowing that God is looking after you all.
Renewal: I will be studying. Although for me retirement is still several years off, this sabbatical is my last one before then. For many clergy retirment comes as a bit of a shock, since it brings with it considerable loss of status. I am keen to model what that feels like so that I can make preparations for the real thing. To that end I will be ‘pretending’ to be retired, no longer a public figure. I will be paying close attention to what that feels like and how it affects me and my family. Key to this process is understanding what my spiritual life looks like, which brings me to the third heading.
Retreat: I will be taking a solitary retreat for the final week of the sabbatical. I will be totally cut off from everybody and everything, with only myself and a pattern of prayer that has sustained me for decades, including before ordination. I’ve never done a retreat quite like this before, and I have been preparing for this with my spiritual director for the last 12 months. It will be the acid test of what my spiritual life will look like once I am no longer in licensed ministry.
Please pray for me and my family while this is going on. They are affected by everything I do, both good and bad, and I would like to think that this is the point where their years of tacit support are rewarded.
I will miss you all, but, if you do bump into me in the street, please do say hello as normal. Although I will be trying to switch off mentally, you will be in my prayers daily, and I pray that God will bless you this summer with new vision and hope.
With love and best wishes,