Clergy Notes — Third Sunday of Lent, March 3, 2024

Vestry last Sunday was well attended, and certainly from my perspective had a very positive and confident feel about it. Once again I commend to you the Annual Report, which gives an encouraging account of our parish life together. At the end of our Sunday liturgies this week we shall pray for our office holders for the coming year.

It was good to announce the Bishop’s intention to appoint Mother Amanda as Priest-in-Charge in the months following my retirement. Reece Wrightman is now Rector’s Warden, serving with Peggy Smyth and Leah Postman. Andrew Campbell is now Treasurer. Trustees/Synod Delegates are Ross Hornby, Michelle Heshka and Joanna Lam. Linda Adams continues as Vestry Clerk. The Bishop will be meeting Trustees shortly to review arrangements for the vacancy, and process for the Search Committee.

I expect that Parish Council will be called upon to continue the insightful Table Discussion held at the Stewardship Lunch in November. There we celebrated what excites us about our life together at St James’, and expressed wishes and hopes for the future. We have begun to act upon some of these, for example, the rearrangement of tables at Coffee Hour, the forthcoming meeting for Readers and those interested in joining the Guild; others need more consideration.

There were one or two comments on the liturgy, to which it may be helpful for me to respond.

  • 8:30 am in person service: attendance at this before COVID rarely exceeded 6 people. Current attendance at the 9:00 am Zoom liturgy is between 20 and 25. With fewer clergy it is a better stewardship of our Sunday resources to focus on the Zoom service. There is an opportunity for a said service at the Saturday 4:00 pm Vigil Mass.
  • Communion at the altar rail: we have maintained the current administration of the sacrament adopted on Sundays during Covid for two reasons: medical advice is still to keep some distance from one another; it also avoids use of steps up and down, which are not so convenient for everyone. When the redecoration and reordering of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is complete, the sacrament may be administered there at the altar rail.
  • Increased altar party on Sundays: we are constrained by the number of servers and of clergy available (for the time being the latter will continue to be an issue with Deacon Joyce’s retirement, and my own upcoming). The rationale has been to have a vested deacon on ‘high days’, and the celebrant only on Sundays, to give a sense of regularity, rather than one Sunday having a full sanctuary, the next only a few.

The works on the Blessed Sacrament Chapel will begin this coming week. It is hoped that the Chapel will be in use again by Holy Week. The Daily Mass will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel (entrance via the Chapel gate) during this time.

Exciting times ahead!

With every blessing,
Fr Kevin

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, March 3, 2024.