Parish Magazine Article - June 2021

This is the first time I’ve written one of these articles since I moved to south Shropshire and was collated as Archdeacon of Ludlow at the end of April, so I’d like to begin by thanking you for the very warm welcome my family and I have received among you here in the archdeaconry and the wider diocese. Moving house during a pandemic was a challenge, but we were well supported all the way, not least by the prayers of those in both dioceses: St Albans and Hereford.

Like you, I’m hopeful that we may now be entering a time where the necessary restrictions under which we’ve lived for the past year will ease, and I can get out and about more to visit parishes, beginning to get to know the clergy and people in our schools, churches, and wider communities.

You may be wondering what my hopes and prayers for the coming years are. In many ways they’re summed up in the reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians which was read at my collation:

I pray that out of his glorious riches God may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

- Ephesians 3:16-21

I long that each of us in the churches across the diocese may know the fullness of the love of God in Christ ourselves, and may be equipped and inspired to share that love with those around us in our homes, families, schools, workplaces, and places of leisure. I pray that this faith and love will fill you, and our churches, villages, and towns.

A tall order? Maybe. But at the end of the passage we’re reminded that God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. That’s the grounds for my confidence as, together, we move on and out in faith, filled with hope, to share the love of Christ with our lips and our lives.

AD Fiona