Vicki's Farewell Service

Vicki very much hopes that as many people as possible, from both Holy Trinity and           St Andrew’s, will attend her farewell Eucharist at 5.00pm on 

Sunday 26th August, and to say goodbye to her, Billy and the family. 

They will be moving from Bramley at the end of the month, 

when Vicki takes up her new post in Wales. 


Clergy Letter - 

by The Rev'd Graham Smith



As I sit to write to you, I am aware how the months just fly by.  It is almost a year since Catherine and I arrived here.  In recent months all that has happened in terms of my own health, the absence of our Vicar, the arrival in our house of a new puppy and my need to engage in more liturgical ministry than I intended, means that time has so flown by that I seem to have had little chance to think and reflect.  So much for retirement, as I am sure many of you would say too! 

A famous commander once prayed a prayer recognising that, in the battle of the day, God would know that he might become so busy that he might forget God, and so his prayer was that God would not forget him.  In the recent changes in my life, especially having to learn to use buses and juggle home, hospital, parish duties, family and puppy, there have been days when that prayer would have seemed quite appropriate.  As priest, as well as Christian believer, I am aware that God is all around and active, and is interested in the world of the ecclesiastical parishes of Bramley and Grafham as well as the civil parish of Bramley – often despite what we might try to do, and despite the fact that situations and human-created structures of religion and religious rules often cloud my thinking and reflection about what should be matters of faith. 

There is a famous hymn in the Bible, in Psalm 139, which talks about God being absolutely everywhere: ‘If I go to the highest mountain top you are there. If I go down into the depths of the sea, you are there.’. We know in our heads that it's true. But what about feeling it in our hearts? And what if we aren't up mountains or on the seabed but stuck in the office on a hot day, or queuing in the village store or Waitrose, Sainsbury's or some other shop? Jesus Christ said of himself, “I am Truth”. And I believe that when we discover the real truth about ourselves and learn to accept it and get on with it, we meet Christ in our own experience.  I speak to myself as one who sometimes can feel paralysed by the sheer volume of tasks that I feel ought to be done - often forgetting that I am not alone. This is true, because not only is God there, but also it is God who sends someone to help and assist. 

This has been my experience of this community over these past months as many of you – seen and unseen – have helped and ministered to me and therefore to each other. There is a story of a young monk who asked his master in the monastery for some spiritual instruction. "Have you had breakfast?" asked the master. "Yes, thank you;" replied the monk. "Then go and wash the dishes," said the master.

Facing up to reality, then tackling the next job that needs to be done is, perhaps, a much more significant happening than most of us realise, for if God is present in everything, it is in everything that we find him. For me, I need to learn to discover God in the things I can’t do as much as in the things that I am actually able to do. I need to discover God in the lives of those who make up the whole ministry and mission of our two parishes – a ministry we all share – both those of us who are ordained or holding a formal office as well as those who seek to serve through being good faithful parishioners and, more importantly, good and forgiving friends and neighbours. 

Your friend and neighbour 

Graham Smith


Vicki is away