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THE WATERSIDE BENEFICE - KAREN'S CORNER

Joint Council

The Ministry Team

Pastoral Team

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BLOG 9

This week has been one that has involved memorial services and interment of ashes of loved ones. It has been a time for remembering loved ones, commending them back to our loving God who promises us eternal life.

We are also coming up to 2nd November, All Souls Day, another time to remember those whom we have loved and lost and to re-commend them back into the hands of God. We have a joint benefice All Souls Service on 2nd November at 7pm in St Piran’s church, led by Revd Jonathan.

It is an opportunity for the benefice communities to come together and you are very welcome to add the names of your own loved ones to the list that will be read out at that service. It is an opportunity to light a candle in their memory and to remember the blessing that they were in our lives.

Remembering loved ones has been on my mind a lot this week and it has reminded me just how important it is to gather and to give thanks for their lives, surrounded by those who are there to support those who mourn. As Christians we are never alone, God is there to uphold us and to walk along side us as we mourn. As a Priest it is a privilege to conduct such services and to walk alongside those who are laying their loved ones to rest in our sacred places of worship.

An All Souls service is a wonderful opportunity to join together with those left behind and to support those who are also remembering loved ones. It is a poignant service which gives us the chance to gather together in love and fellowship.

It is a chance to shed tears if they come and to feel loss, it’s perfectly natural and this service is a safe place to do that. It’s also an opportunity to share memories and to know that our loved ones are safe and whole, in the arms of God.

I will be adding my own parents’ names to the list of those to be remembered at the All Souls service. I am comforted to know that they will be remembered at this service and that they are being re-commended back to God in this Holy Communion service. Jesus died and was raised again to give each of us eternal life, the shared meal at the Lord’s table reminds me of that. I will shed my own tears and remember what a blessing they were in my life. I will indulge in a couple of Maltesers in Dad’s memory, his favourite. He would expect nothing less of ‘my eldest’ as he used to introduce me to people!

May the festival of All Souls be a blessing to you, a comfort and an opportunity to share precious memories.

Every blessing

Revd Karen 


BLOG 8

This week has been a busy one, God has been moving in the Waterside Benefice and there is a lot happening here…

This weekend we welcome our Curate Revd Dr Jonathan Rowe back to the benefice after his two month study leave and placements. It is good to have him back amongst us. We met earlier this week and it was lovely to have a catch up.

Brace yourself…I am going to mention the ‘C’ word - CHRISTMAS! I know…it’s only October but in the life of a Vicar planning for Advent and Christmas starts early. I confess that I love Advent; the waiting, the anticipation and the opportunity to take time to pray, learn and to anticipate the coming of the birth of Christ anew each year.

We are talking about plans to run an Advent Course this year. Hopefully, we will be able to meet in person and to share hospitality, fellowship as well as learning together. Please do watch out for details on the website for the course.

The Christmas Week Services are being planned and will be advertised before December. Please do take the opportunity to attend services across all three churches if you can. It’s always good to share fellowship and worship with others in different settings, to challenge our churchmanship and to experience new perspectives of the Christian faith.

Both St John with St Petroc and St Feock churches are hosting Christingle making and craft sessions before their Christingle services this year. Not only will we be making our Christingles but we will be sticking, gluing and sprinkling some glitter on our Christmas crafts, served with the obligatory mince pie or two!

The new Pastoral Care Group will meet for the first time as we plan a new approach to pastoral visiting in the benefice. Please keep this new group of volunteers in your prayers. Pastoral care is hugely important and become especially prevalent in the darker, colder months of winter.

My husband Chris is hosting a Men’s Breakfast on 30th October from 9am in the West Room of the Perranwell Centre. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I will be donning my apron and taking to the stove to cook a full English breakfast. We will be serving tea, coffee and toast alongside the breakfast as well as having a range of that day’s newspapers to peruse. Booking forms are at the back of the church or please contact me if you would like to book a place.

Please do keep checking the website for further details of what is happening in the benefice. There’s lots of exciting new plans afoot and I thank God for the generous gifting and skills of our volunteers. The team of volunteers do have limited time and energy and if you feel that you can help in any of our churches pleased do let me know, we are always grateful for more volunteers and happy to see new faces.

Right, off to continue planning for Christmas. I may even play some Michael Buble… don’t judge me….

Every blessing

Revd Karen 


BLOG 7

On October 1st the three churches of St Feock, St Piran's and St John and St Petroc became a benefice. The Waterside Churches will be known as The Waterside Benefice. A Benefice is a group of ecclesiastical parishes under one single stipendiary minister. In other words, the group of three churches that will be led by one Vicar. It is a privilege and an honour to be the very first Priest in Charge of this new benefice.

Much hard work, time and effort has been put in by lots of dedicated parishioners to get this far. It's an exciting time; the first time that the three parishes will be officially be a benefice and can begin to work together under one umbrella, so to speak.

The Waterside Benefice is aptly named because of its locality. Water is important in christianity. It is primarily linked to baptism and marks a rebirth. The Waterside Churches will be reborn as The Waterside Benefice. The 1st October marks an important milestone in the life of the three churches. It also marks the beginning of a new and exciting phase in the life of the churches and communities.

There is much work to be done in order for the three churches to be where they want to be; right at the centre of the local communities consciousness. We aspire to be at the centre of the life of the local communities in which we serve. We can only do that if we all discern where our gifting and skills are and offer them to help. I would like to take this opportunity to ask whether you are able to offer your skills and gifting as a volunteer. If there is any way that you can offer some time to help the benefice it would be very gratefully received. There are numerous roles that could be filled by new volunteers, please do contact me and let's have an informal discussion.

I look forward to seeing you on Friday at 1pm.

Every Blessing

Revd Karen 


BLOG 6

The Vicarage is surrounded by trees which are now shedding their leaves, mostly all over our driveway and there seems to be a never ending round of brushing them up!

As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature's cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. The trees show us that they are prepared to give up their Autumn beauty and fiery colours and let go of their leaves, ready to store energy up for the winter and next Spring.

Autumn is the right time to practice getting out of the way and letting Spirit take charge of our lives.

Buddhist teacher Sharon Saltzberg writes about one of the offshoots of letting go: "Generosity has such power because it is characterised by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously — these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom." Autumn, then, is the perfect season to give generously of our time and talents to others.

This week I will be working on putting together the new Pastoral Care Team for the Waterside Churches. I have had volunteers come forward who are prepared to give generously of their time and gifting to help, which is an answer to prayer. If you, or someone you know, would appreciate a pastoral visit for a chat or if you would like someone to pray with you or to have Home Communion please do let me know.

Every blessing

Revd Karen 


BLOG 5

On Saturday the new JCC (Joint Church Council) meet together for a 'Focus Day'. Nina and Martin Davey have kindly offered us the use of their tea garden at Linden Hey and to provide refreshments to keep us all going!

The Focus day is an opportunity for us to get together, to worship and pray together as well as to look forward to where God is leading The Waterside Churches. We will be looking at Mission and Ministry in the three churches as well as in our local communities, as well as Outreach and 'being church' to those who need our help, not only spiritually but physically.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. For Christians, that's first and foremost where God comes in - He's always by our side. John 15:12 says, "This is my commandment: love each other as I have loved you." Jesus loves us in an extraordinary way. It's up to us to take the love we receive from him, and to find ways to bring that love and goodwill into our communities.

The Bible reminds us that one crucial way to demonstrate our love for God is to take action here on earth and lend a helping hand. Bringing the Lord's love into our communities is a powerful act. It may not always be easy, but as people of faith, God calls upon us to serve others and bring His light to them.

Please do keep the JCC in your prayers as we meet together and look at ways in which we can be light and salt to those around us.

Every blessing

Revd Karen 


BLOG 4

Last week we adopted a young dog, a Pug, called Willow. She has had a bit of a rough start to life, the other Pug in her former home not liking the fact that she was no longer the only female dog. Young Willow is still anxious around other small dogs, convinced that they are going to attack her, as was her previous experience.

She is a dear little thing who enjoys a cuddle and who is proving to be easy to train. Chris and I have always had dogs and we lost our last one two years ago. Like our previous rescue animals, Willow came at a time when we were least expecting it!

We have always enjoyed having a dog and they give you a marvellous excuse to get out and to have to go for a walk! People always stop and talk to you when you are walking a dog, especially when they are a puppy. I have always though that having a dog is a bit of a missional opportunity. Sometimes wearing a clerical collar can be a great conversation opener and sometimes it proves to be just the opposite.There are not many people however who can resist the urge to stop and pet a puppy!

Chris and I are great walkers and Willow is learning that walking in the Wilson household is a given. We often read in the Bible about Jesus being out and about, walking from town to town, climbing hills and teaching as well as crossing lakes and visiting friends such as Martha and Mary.

Jesus also took time to stop, to reflect and to pray. He knew when he needed to rest and to revive himself. He stopped by a well on a hot day and asked a woman for a drink from that well. The ensuing conversation changed her life, and those whom she later told. Sometimes it is in those quiet moments that we draw closest to God and when we are able to listen more closely to His voice.

For me, having a dog makes me stop. Willow is young and enjoys the odd nap. She chooses to park herself on a lap and nod off. If it is my lap that she chooses then I am forced to stop. Willow has reminded me that her basic needs are her priority and she knows when she needs to rest, something that I had forgotten about owning a dog. It is a good excuse to just 'be' in that moment and to pray, to read or simply to reflect and take stock and that is a gift. I can, however, do without the snoring that sounds like a small jet preparing for take off that her snoring brings...

As I write this Willow is asleep at my feet, in a pool of sunshine in my study. She is fast becoming an excellent office companion and Chris has nicknamed her 'The Parish Pug'. I had forgotten about the unconditional love that a dog gives, cats are also a joy but a little more aloof.

Our two cats, Lottie and Dibley have taken to Willow, as she has to them. They play together and Willow has decided that Dibley needs the odd face wash! Pugs are known for their mischievous, fun nature and Willow is certainly living up to those traits. If you do see us walking around the villages please do stop and say hello, Willow will never say 'no' to being fussed. 


BLOG 3

Last week brought very different aspects to my ministry. We held an interment of ashes which brought very different aspects to my ministry. We held an interment of ashes with a 'celebration of life' service for one of our parishioners at St Piran's and a few days later came a wedding. I had also arranged a Baptism service for the following week.

As a Vicar, I am very aware that it is a privilege to walk alongside people as they journey through life, to be with them as they plan joyful occasions such as a wedding and also more sombre occasions such as a funeral. It's an honour to support, uphold and to share occasions which have deep personal meaning for people. It is not always easy to celebrate a joyful occasion and then to move to be with a grieving family in a matter of hours.

Underpinning all of this ministry needs to be a robust prayer life. As Christians we do nothing in our own strength but in God's. We can be assured that our Heavenly Father loves us as his own children, with a love that is generous beyond measure. He upholds us and walks beside us as we journey through life, whatever it brings.

Like all good, heathy relationships one of the most important things is communication. God longs for us to talk to him, to go to Him in prayer and to talk. Sometimes that may mean that we go to Him when we are angry, when we are confused, distressed or exhausted. Being able to be honest with God at such times is important. He longs for us to have open, honest relationships with Him and that includes times when we are raging or weeping.

When my Dad died (quite quickly and very painfully) I remember being unable to call God 'Father' for three days. I couldn't pray, I couldn't speak. I couldn't speak to anyone and I couldn't cry either. In the end Chris sent me off to our bedroom and told me to talk to God, to cry and let it all out. It seemed such a huge emotional effort to begin to pray. I sat in silence and just let the peace of being in God's presence wash over me. Only then did the tears come and I was able to tell God exactly how I felt; the grief, the hurt, the sense of injustice and anger. At first I felt guilty that I was heaping all of this onto God and then I remembered that we had always had an honest relationship and that I would not be respecting this if I held back. God knew all of it anyway and he wanted me to bring it to Him.

Ordained Priests promise that we will say the 'Daily Office', to pray at least twice a day. During my own prayers I pray for all of you, that you have a deep and abiding relationship with God and that you are able to take all things to Him who loves you.

If you would like me to pray with you or for you, please do let me know. Sometimes it's not always easy to know where to begin.

God Bless

Revd Karen 

BLOG 2

'The second week of my ministry in The Waterside Churches didn't end quite as I expected! I was 'pinged' by the NHS on Wednesday evening, which was unexpected. Chris wasn't 'pinged' and neither of us have any symptoms. We are testing very regularly and we are both 'negative', which is good. We are both extremely careful and still continue to wear masks, sanitise and don't go anywhere that is crowded. It has been a reminder that Covid-19 is still very much around and we all need to be very mindful about what we do.

I would like to thank all of the Church Wardens, Revd Jonathan and our team of volunteers who have been incredibly supportive and who stepped in at the last minute to lead and help at planned services.

Being in self isolation is not something that comes easily to me, I confess. I like to be out and about on foot and I had only just got into my stride with my rota of visiting churches and parishioners. I am an 'outdoors' person and find it difficult not to be able to just 'pop out' for a good walk. My trainers are looking a bit bereft in my wardrobe! Being at home has given me the opportunity to do some extra reading however.

By nature, I am an introvert and do enjoy times where I can sit quietly to pray and to read. Sitting in silence is something that I have grown to appreciate more since training as a Priest. I have always enjoyed reading and writing a journal as well as spending time in prayer and reflection. Working as a Priest allows time to plan into my working week times of prayer and for reading and study. Prior to Ordination my work in education meant an incredibly full diary and very often no breaks during the day, with lunch eaten on the hoof or at my desk. Finding a good life/work balance was difficult and one had to be incredibly resilient. I saw many a good teacher 'burn out' and give up teaching because of this. Over the years I learned many skills that enabled me to sustain this type of working life and continue to use those skills as a Priest.

Mondays are my rest day and I will return any calls or messages on a Tuesday, unless there is a dire emergency.

Chris and I are very sociable people and enjoy the company of others and I spend a lot of time as a Vicar with others, which is a joy and a blessing. I also recognise when I need to stop and have some quiet time too. Like many things in life, it is about finding a good balance.

Chris has been sent on an errand to collect some new 'work' shoes for me this morning as I am in isolation. The shoes that I chose come from a company called 'Heavenly Feet' which seemed quite appropriate. The style of shoes also have a name, 'Angel' which is something that made me chuckle and made Chris raise a wry eyebrow! I chose 'Heavenly Feet' because they are a company who provide vegan friendly footwear and have recyclable packaging with no plastic.

Since moving into our new house I have put up lots of bird feeders in the garden. I am sitting in my office with the doors open, looking at the increasing number of birds who have found the feeders. We have a family of blue tits, a newly fledged family of long tailed tits and a father blackbird who feeds his one fledgling at them. A newly fledged Robin also visits and he is gradually gaining his scarlet waistcoat. Squirrels race up and down the trees and try to help themselves from the peanut feeder. After reading the reports of how climate change is having such an impact upon our world it has led me to reflect upon how we can do more to protect God's beautiful creation in The Waterside Churches.

I look forward to getting out and about again and to meeting more of you once my period of isolation is over. Please do let me know if you would appreciate a pastoral visit or call.

Every blessing

Revd Karen '

BLOG 1

It was so good to see the church full and my visiting friends and family were made to feel so welcome. The choir sang beautifully, the service was joyful and the flowers looked amazing. We even had a visit from a local dog who was drawn in by the smell of the freshly cooked pasties!

Thank you to the Church Wardens who helped to prepare the service and who gave me such a warm welcome to the churches. I now have enough church keys to more than fill my handbag!

Since my licensing I have been working in the churches and I am based in all three churches throughout my working week.

I will be saying Morning Prayer at 9am in Devoran on a Tuesday morning, in Feock on Wednesday morning and Perranarworthal on a Friday morning. All are welcome to join me. Each morning I pray for the churches and for the congregations and wider communities. Please do let me know if you have a special intention that you would like me to pray for.

Please do feel free to pop in and to see me whilst I am in the churches during the week, it would be lovely to see you. It would be good to meet parishioners and to get to know you better. I’m here to support you, walk alongside you and to be a shepherd to you. The more I know about you and the communities the more that I can support you.

It has been a busy week and it has been good to get out and about on foot, getting to know the area and meeting people where they are. 

Pastoral Care is a very important part of my ministry. Part of my working week will be visiting parishioners and offering Home Communion when it is asked for.

I hope and pray that The Waterside Churches website will be used by both parishioners and the wider communities alike. I will be posting regularly in ‘Karen’s Corner’ and will keep you up to date on what is happening in my ministry as we move forward, continuing to build God’s kingdom in this place.

Every blessing

Revd Karen  

IN THE PARISHES


KAREN WILL BE IN THE PARISHES AS FOLLOWS:


Tuesdays: Devoran. 9.00 for morning prayer - noon. Based in the church office. Includes BCP and coffee stop.

Wednesdays: St. Feock. 9.00 for morning prayer - noon. Based in the Vicar's Vestry.  

Thursdays:  Perranarworthal 9.00 - noon. Based in the Vicar's Vestry. Includes Coffee Stop in The Perranwell Centre

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