Happy New Year!

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022: Happy New Year!

As 2021 draws to a close, it is time to reflect upon the past year and look ahead to what is to come. For many there may be mixed emotions. Some will be tinged with sadness at the loss of close friends or much loved family members; or perhaps unhappy circumstances at home or at work; or health issues that are affecting our daily routines. Some may be thankful that Covid restrictions eased in the summer and autumn, and we were once again able to meet up and enjoy several pleasures that had been “on hold” for well over a year – including singing in church! What a joy.

Just a few weeks ago, we said goodbye to Father Edward; and although his last Mass at St. Mary's was on the Feast of Christ the King, his “official” retirement date as Vicar of Kenton falls today (Friday 31st December). Tomorrow, we start the process of seeking a new Incumbent. It's not quite as easy as that. First we have to discern what sort of person we feel would lead God's mission here in Kenton, and we need to consider the priorities of the Parish: What are our needs and how do they fit in with the needs of the Diocese of London? Your views are really important. Please talk to the Churchwardens and to Parochial Church Council (PCC) Members. Tell them what you think our next Vicar should be like and what he should be focusing on. The PCC is meeting with Bishop Jonathan and our Archdeacon Catherine early in January, so that they can help us find the right person. One of our younger members told us: I have been going to St. Mary’s church for over 5 years and I feel at home when I go there! I always feel loved and it is an amazing environment. I would love the new priest to let younger children participate in readings and serving. I hope the new priest is as kind and as loving as Father Edward.”

We wish Father Edward and Katherine a very happy, restful and well-deserved retirement. It is clear that whoever is appointed will have a difficult act to follow, and after 10+ years with Father Edward at the helm we know that some things will change – and none of us are very comfortable with that! But it's a New Year and time moves on, and we greet the New Year with a Mass at 12.00 noon on New Year's Day, and as ever most appropriate for our Parish we will be celebrating The Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God. Mary embraced that vision of God by saying “Yes”. We too are called to make that commitment and, in our way, grow God's Kingdom as we embark upon a New Year, New Beginnings and the next chapter in the life of our Parish.

There is no Vigil Mass on Saturday evening. The Parish Mass for the Second Sunday after the Nativity is at 10.30am on Sunday 2nd January. Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany will be at 6.00pm on Thursday 6th January. Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Holy and Healthy New Year.

David Griffiths