And so, it came to pass that the three months we spent together during David’s sabbatical weren’t to be the end of our working together. Now we embark on a new relationship with me as Superintendent, Joseph as minister in pastoral charge, Peter Bangs as Pioneer Connexion Missioner and the Circuit as…. What?
Temptation was to write “the same as it’s ever been!” and to some extent that would be true because ministers are only ever part of the long history of churches and circuits. They are there before we come and are hopefully there when we leave. But if there isn’t an element of change then we are wasting our time because the nature of the Church has always been to develop and change for the past 2000 years.
I have never previously had responsibility for a Circuit where I didn’t have pastoral charge, but I don’t want to be seen as somebody who just appears from time to time, chairs a meeting and disappears again. I will be looking to support Joseph as your minister and Pete in his mission work as well as everyone else in their various roles within the circuit. I want to build a relationship with you and so I will appear on the plan from time to time in all the churches. I hope that you will see me as someone you can approach to discuss things with in an open and honest way and that together we can build on the work that has been done whilst David has been here.
We cannot know where that will take us, but with the Spirit’s blessing it will be an exciting journey.
With all good wishes
Rev. Arthur Cowburn – Superintendent Minister