The Vicar writes...

Dear Friends,

As I mentioned in the last magazine I am due to start a 3 month sabbatical from Monday 23rd April until mid July. This will be my first sabbatical in seventeen years of full time ministry and offers me an opportunity to use the time and space in a different way to normal parish life.

The word sabbatical is derived from the same root as Sabbath which indicates the main purpose of a sabbatical is to have a time for rest, renewal and re-creation so as to return refreshed in one's ministry.

Within the three months there are two distinct pieces of study I am hoping to investigate and then share with the church on my return.

The first part is to explore the benefits and wisdom of monastic and community life to see in what ways they can remind us and share with us about parish ministry in today's church. This will involve a retreat to the Iona Community on the island of Iona off the West coast of Scotland and other visits to monastic houses.

The other piece of study is to investigate and produce a leaflet about the life of John Field who lived from 1520-1587 and is buried under the porch at St. Michael's Church. John Field made the findings of Copernicus known in this country but there are very few details about his life in church apart from a plaque near the door commemorating his life. Copernicus argued that the earth went around the sun rather than the other way around! John Field's contribution in making the findings of Copernicus known in this country has remained largely unrecognised locally here in the church at East Ardsley. His life time covered a fascinating period in church history with the Reformation and also our under-standing of astronomy and his partnership with John Dee, the original 'renaissance man' through the turbulent reigns of Queen Mary and Elizabeth.

So as I head off for my three month sabbatical the church is left in good hands and I am thankful to those who will cover in my absence. In the meantime please join us for our Annual General Meeting on Monday 2nd April at 7:00pm in the church hall when we will give thanks for the past year and look to God to lead us into the future.

With best regards


P.S. with regards booking a baptism or wedding during the sabbatical please come to church between 7:00pm and 8:00pm on a Thursday night and see one of the assistant clergy.

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St Michaels nave

St Michaels lectern and organ

St Michaels nave