Christ Church

The Rector's Letters

Kia's Reflections from the Annual Parochial Church Meetings held in April

Firstly we want to thank you all for making us feel so welcome as a family into the community and the church family. We have been blown away by your kindness and generosity – so thank you all!

Obviously I can’t reflect on the year just gone as your Rector – it would be a short report on the last couple of months – so, instead, I wanted to take this opportunity to explore expectations – yours and mine - and where, so far, I sense God is moving and calling us to.

In terms of expectations – what can you expect from me?

I have been asked what being a part-time Rector looks like.

The simple answer is that I’m not sure! I am a priest which encompasses who I am, what I am and whose I am. This means, that in a sense I am never ‘off duty’.

However, I do have boundaries! Friday is my sabbath – my day off -  so unless there is an earthquake, fire or flood I won’t be contactable!

The other days will be flexible as I find my rhythm of working, resting and playing.

I aim to be a visible presence in our community whether at the pubs, at the fetes,  watching cricket, walking, drinking coffee at the various different coffee mornings or in church.

Above all I value communication. If you are pleased about something – tell me. If you are unhappy about something – tell me. 

I am not afraid of awkward or tricky conversations and would much rather hear something directly from you.

If in doubt – just come and talk to me.

I am interested and fascinated by your stories. How you came to faith, what your theological hang ups are – your difficult questions. I won’t have all the answers but together maybe we can explore them and find our way through.

I’m passionate about your faith. I’m passionate about discipleship. I’m passionate about our community.

I don’t have the monopoly on good ideas. If you have an idea – come and share it – whether it’s bouncy castles on the green or allotments in the Rectory Garden – don’t keep it to yourself. We are not the biggest parish; we are cash rich and time poor but if we focus on a few ideas we can do them really well.

It’s a well used quote by William Temple but so true “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members”.

We serve the many not the few – the whole community is our mission field; those that come on a Sunday and those that don’t, so I will endeavour to make our church buildings and services more accessible to all – old and young, those with faith and those exploring.

I honour the traditions of the church and have no plans to change our liturgical footprint but by building on our all-age services and introducing opportunities to connect with younger families we can expand our ability to touch all areas of our communities. I value the more contemplative side of our Christian spirituality and personally have found much solace in stillness and the opportunity for space for reflection and meditation. So I am keen to facilitate those spaces in both churches.

I would like our churches to be visible and information easy to access. And this includes signage, websites, parish magazines and social media. This is something I will be exploring over the coming year.

In terms of my expectations of you:

I don’t have a three-point vision plan to lay out before you but three words perhaps sum up what I’m trying to say;

I just want to join in with the God who is already at work among us. He will lead -  if we will listen. 

I am so excited to join you at this time as we come out of some of the most trying and challenging two and half years that most of us have probably lived through.

I sense a new energy and enthusiasm and together, with the grace and love of God to inspire and motivate us, I am sure there are exciting times ahead.

Rev’d Kia x

Kia's First Letter as Rector - May 2022
As I write this I am reflecting on my first, rather full, two weeks of my time here with you!

Easter has just been and gone and we have walked together through Holy week with services at Coldharbour and Abinger where we remembered the Institution of the Lords supper; Good Friday, with reflections on the stations of the cross which then bought us to the celebration of Christ Rising on Easter day. It was wonderful to see and meet so many of you at these services and I look forward to getting to know all of you better!

As a family, can we take this opportunity to thank you so much for the incredibly warm welcome that we have received since moving here with special thanks to all those who helped organise the Licensing service and the delicious refreshments afterwards at the Abinger Hatch; your generosity and bonhomie have been second to none!

As we enter May (my favourite month and nothing to do with the fact we have 3 family birthdays!) it signals the beginning of village fete season, and I am so looking forward to the much anticipated Coldharbour fete on the 21st May.

Whether you consider yourself a church-goer or not I would love to meet you – so please, don’t be shy – I’m always up for a cup of tea and a chat! You can contact me on 737106 or the new email rector@abingerandcoldharbour.org With every blessing

Rev’d Kia