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Farewell message from the Revd Dawn Stamper

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, we read in Isaiah 55 (vs8).  This is my last week in the parish and as I reflect on my time here, I can see how God has guided and placed me in spite of my own plans.

I never expected to leave Willesborough and move to Christ Church, or to leave Christ Church and move to Kennington. I certainly didn’t expect a pandemic and family circumstances to prompt a move from Kennington, where I have been so happy.

There is an old Jewish proverb: ‘We plan, God laughs.’ 

There’s no doubt these unplanned moves gave rise to mixed emotions, but with age comes a little wisdom and with the help of the spiritual teaching of St Ignatius I can better understand how we change as we age, and our vocation unfolds.

Our Team Rector Jeremy Worthen reminded us last week that we are all connected, we are all part of the body of Christ and bodies grow and change.

The moves I made have proved to be times of personal and spiritual growth, of challenge and learning that have equipped me for the next phase of my ministry. For each of us as individuals and as worshipping communities, there are times of self-exploration and fresh encounters with Jesus; times where in the light of his teaching and presence we reflect on what we are doing with our gifts and feel the invitation to make a commitment to something different. Commitments that may ask us to put others first.

Lent in particular gives us the opportunity to reflect on the spirit of love and strength that God gives us rather than a spirit of fear or overwhelming anxiety. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the strength, love and encouragement you have given me through the years. I have so many happy memories. May God continue to bless, lead and guide you as you seek to build His kingdom in this place. 

Love, Dawn


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