One of the privileges of my role in the church is that I get to walk alongside people at some of the really important events of their lives.
At the birth of a child, there is much to celebrate. There are often many things to think about, and for some families having their child Christened is extremely important. It is a joy to be able to go into peoples’ homes and meet new parents and new babies (or sometimes toddlers) as we prepare for the day when their child will publicly become members of the Christian Church and acknowledge their place as “children of God”. For those families that continue to maintain a relationship with the local church, it is a joy to see these little people develop and grow, learning not only about the people around them and the wonders of creation but also the love that God has for them as individuals too.
A Confirmation is a service during which young people or adults confirm for themselves the promises made by their parents at their Christening. This is a time when they publicly declare their faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, following several meetings during which we discuss their own faith and what it means to “live-out” their faith. This service is always taken by The Bishop, making this a very special event for those involved. This year, our Confirmation Service will be held in June.
The next important life-event is a wedding. There are of course certain legal restrictions as to who can be married in a local church but generally speaking, if you live in or have lived in the village then you are entitled to be married in the local church. It’s always great to meet the couple for the first time, and to get to know a little bit more about them: their backgrounds, how they met, who proposed and when, how long they have been engaged. Then I get to meet those people who are most important to them – those who will have roles during the marriage service. Finally, after almost all the preparations are complete, we have the wedding rehearsal the night before “the big day”. This is always fun and a time of much hilarity as the excitement of the next day approaches.
The life-event in which I am most privileged to participate, is following the death of a loved one. This is a time when families are suffering deeply and trying to come to come to terms with the reality of their loss. During these visits I listen and hear stories and shared memories. There are usually tears and sometimes laughter, as they describe to me their loved one and what this person meant to them. To be invited, often as a stranger, into peoples’ lives at this time is a great honour and extremely humbling.
So, if you have any questions about, or wish to discuss any of the above life-events, please feel free to contact me. My details can be found in the front of the Prospect.
Of course, if you have a need to speak to me for any other reason, please also feel free to contact me directly.
Rev Ann Bol
Shingay Group of Churches