Off to Basingstoke to Induct Rev Clare Downing as Moderator of the Wessex Synod ……

It has been quiet since the beginning of December. Apart from a couple of meetings in London and a meeting with Jim Coleman, my chaplain, to reflect on the experiences of the past three months there have been no Moderatorial activities at all.  I have enjoyed spending time with my family, catching up with things at home, preparing for Christmas and leading worship in the two churches in my home pastorate.

But now it is time to pick up the reins and it was good to be in Basingstoke for Clare’s induction.

There is always a sense of new beginnings and much joy at induction services and this was no exception helped along by some good hymn singing and some lively music from the Leicester Amika Choir.

Much of the service is of course governed by the agreed liturgy and there is a danger that we can fail to hear the significance of those familiar words and phrases. But I confess to a tingling feeling when I really think about the words of the Statement of Nature Faith and Order. Here (amongst other things) we say  “the highest authority for what we believe and do is God’s word in the Bible ALIVE for his people today through the help of the Spirit” what a privilege to be able to state that boldly! And then there are the promises made by both minister and congregation affirming faith, committing to service and mutual support. These are promises not to be entered into lightly and I am sure that none of those involved on Saturday did that. But perhaps we should all remind ourselves of these statements and promises from time to time, they say something of who we are as Christians and as members of the United Reformed Church – maybe the beginning of a new year is a good time to look again and pray for renewed commitment to our amazing God.

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