Reepham & Wensum Valley Team Churches - at the Heart of the Community

Rev’d Richard’s Letter (June2022)

As I write this month’s article two big things lie ahead of me. The first is the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and the second is my ordination as priest. For both events, there is a lot of preparation. I need to prepare for services, celebratory events, fun activities.

Other people have things to prepare: the local Jubilee events are being organised by a number of different people; in terms of my ordination, there are people preparing the service, the retreat, the paperwork, and my father-in-law is preparing a sermon for the service at which I will preside for the first time. There is a lot to prepare for in June!

But what I really started to reflect on as June loomed ever larger on the calendar was the theme of service and duty. The Platinum Jubilee celebrates a landmark in royal service and duty. It is a chance for us to celebrate and to give thanks for the long service of our Queen to her nation and commonwealth. I’m sure there has been much for her to enjoy about her reign. However, there has been a lot for the Queen to handle that will have been difficult, hard work. She has been called upon to occupy her role as Queen. She didn’t choose to be the monarch; she was chosen. I am reminded of the words from John’s gospel: “You did not choose me but I chose you” (John 15: 16).

Similarly, I believe I was called to the role that I occupy, and the one to which I will soon be ordained. Of course I chose to answer that call, but the question had a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer rather than a more open-ended ‘what do you want to be.’ There will be a lot of joy to be found, but there will be service and duty too. Sometimes, the joy will be found in that service and duty. Sometimes that service and
duty will be harder. But each of us has some kind of duty in our lives: to family; to friends; to neighbours; to our jobs. And each of us needs to serve others in some way. It is all part of living in community. So as we celebrate this month, let’s also think about how we serve one another and what duties we have to one another in order to make the most of these communities that we so value.