From the Rectory August 2019

SIMON WARD 12-2018as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


Rev Canon Simon Ward 


A Pastoral Church

I wonder who will read this letter? Maybe you are reading it and you know me well. Maybe you are reading it and haven't the faintest idea who I am. Maybe you live in Great Yarmouth or maybe you're a visitor who picked up this magazine. Whoever you are, and wherever you are, from know this: you are loved and precious to God

This is the starting point of Christian faith. To recognise that each and every one of us is a precious child of God, made in his image and full of truth and beauty. Through knowing we are loved by God we begin to see that wonder, worth and dignity in all people and, through following Jesus, we begin to show that love. A church should be loving, caring community. This is what we strive for and it is not always something we get right

All members of the church are called to demonstrate caring, loving and compassionate relationships. We are called to be a pastoral church. The word "pastor" comes from the work of tending sheep: a pastor is one who cares for sheep. The term came into the Christian understanding of ministry (lay and ordained) because of the many references in Holy Scripture to God as a shepherd and Jesus as the Good Shepherd. A priest is a pastor for his or her congregation and this responsibility is something shared by the Ministry Team in this parish

I want this parish to grow in pastoral care and concern for all people and especially our members. There are three things the Ministry Team want to do:

  1. Visit: The ministry team will visit members of our church electoral roll. We'll divide it up and sometime during the year one of the team will be in touch with you and offer to visit you. If you're not on the roll you can always ask for a visit

  2. Pray: This should be a natural part of our life together: To pray with and for each other. If you have a need for prayer please share it with one of the Ministry Team or ask someone to pass it on. Names (just Christian names) are remembered on our prayer list every day around the parish. If you don't want to be on the prayer list, just say so - we will still pray for you

  3. Include: If you're not able to come to church you are still a part of the church family! We want to include you and are glad to bring you communion at home or simply come round and pray with you. I've recently taken communion to someone at home who had been away from church for a while and has been so pleased to receive the sacrament again, saying that they didn't realise how much they had missed it 

One thing I want to make clear is that you matter to God and therefore you matter to us. Sometimes clergy hear people say things like "I didn't want to trouble you", but please do feel able to ask us for pastoral support in whatever way you need. Please don't think that the church is not concerned about you. You matter to God and you matter to us
With prayers and best wishes,
Fr Simon


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