Dear brothers and sisters,
After a successful response to the parish drive to finance a full-time parish-priest I am happy to inform you that I will be taking up this position on 1st December, ministering to the parishes in Cardiff and Cheltenham, hoping that we will also soon establish an outreach serving our Wessex parishioners.
As many of you are aware, combining full-time work in learning-disabilities and virtually full-time parish ministry was always a challenge, and has become increasingly difficult over the past few years, in which I have become very aware of my own limitations.
However, it has still been a joy to be able to combine both major causes in my life, knowing that Faith has been shaped my ‘external’ professional life, as well as parish ministry.
In the years since Metropolitan Hilarion asked me to take over the position of rector of the Cardiff parish and priest-in-charge of Cheltenham, much has changed, and the needs of the parishes have increased significantly.
Since our move from Butetown to Nazareth House in 2017, the parish has grown, spiritually above all, and we have seen a wonderful flowering of parish-life, despite lockdown and the continuing obstacles of the last year and a half. We are indebted to the Fathers of the Oratory and the Sisters of Nazareth for so much in this period, and we look forward to our return to Nazareth House with great anticipation.
In the meantime, we have to consider sustaining our presence in St John’s, Canton.
Since our last services in St John’s, our use of the church has been formalised with the completion of a hire agreement. As a result, we are now paying for the building on an hourly basis, which significantly increases our weekly outgoings, and the necessary payment for every hour we use the building.
Given the significant cost of each Sunday’s use of the building, Saturday services will no longer be financially sustainable for us given the small Saturday congregation.
I will discuss the situation with Deacon Mark on his return from Greece, and I am hopeful that we will find a way to move forward with Saturday worship and confessions.
As I look forward to commencing the position of full-time parish-priest on 1st December, I very much hope that parishioners will be willing to revive home akathists and various services, so that we will have worship on weekdays as well as the weekends.
However, this week there will be no Saturday service, but we will revert to using Deacon Mark’s office for confessions in the late afternoon and early evening. With this in mind, may I ask those wishing to confess on Saturday to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – by Friday evening (and this will be strictly enforced), with those needing lifts out of town to Morganstown to let us know, so that we can endeavour to make their confession possible.
The Hours and Liturgy will be celebrated, as usual, in St John’s at 11:00, on Sunday morning, with confessions commencing at 10:15.
I would also appreciate knowing who will require confession on Sunday.
The variable portions of the Sunday Liturgy – St Luke’s Day – may be found here:
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark