Alistair suggested I might like to write something for the website before our arrival so here goes! It's a pretty strange, in-betweeny sort of time for me just now, with such a great deal going on and, as you'd probably expect, a real mix of emotions. I'm guessing that might be true for you all as well: whenever a new priest comes, it's always a bit of a leap in the dark and there are lots of questions about, what will they be like, what will change about our churches and so on. I want to say first of all how excited I am to be coming and, even more importantly, that I have a strong sense of God's call to come and live and work and walk among you. Although the family and I are all very new to Glasgow, and the East End in particular, we have really been overwhelmed by the warmth and welcome of those of you we've met already.
Being new, I know there's a lot to learn and that's probably the first (of many) things I'm going to be asking for your help with. I want to get to know you all, to get to know the churches and the communities that surround us. So, if I may, I'm going to ask to come and visit each of you in your homes as a priority. That will be a chance for me to begin to get to know you and also to hear, in confidence, what you think about the church and community and what you see the priorities as. I'm from a council estate in a Cornish town, so I'm used to (and welcome) plain speaking, so please do tell me what you think I need to know!
If you've seen the little biography up in the churches, you'll have some of the basic details about me and my ministry so far. You'll have maybe picked up that, as well as God and my family I love music, football and parties and that I've done a lot of work with young people in different ways. But maybe what you won't know is that I'm determined, above all, to be available to you and to the communities we'll be serving together. My email address and mobile number will be publicly available and I'm going to work from the office in St Serf's as much as I can. The other thing I'll be doing from the beginning is praying in St Serf's and St John's. I'm planning, as well as the established midweek communion services, to say Morning Prayer Monday to Thursday in one or other of the churches and anyone who wants to join me will be really welcome. And if you've never done it before but feel like giving it a go, so much the better!
As you can probably tell, I'm impatient to arrive and to meet you all. I hope that lots of you will come to the licensing and say hello. We're going to have some fun and together get to know God better, I hope. If you'd like to drop me an email or text to say hi, especially if you can't make the licensing, I've put my email and mobile below.
Until we meet properly, God bless, and please pray for Claire, Tabitha, Alex, Tobias and me - and for a smooth move!