Arthur Spikins has now seen 7 vicars licensed at St John’s. He gives his impressions of Tuesday night when David was licensed as vicar of St John’s and St Mary’s.
What a wonderful occasion! A bishop is often referred to as a “Father in God” so his presence set the tone for the Licensing of David. Our regular congregation, neighbouring clergy, and representatives of the whole community. In many ways, it seemed to me to be like a baptism or a wedding where all come together.
We began with formalities, declarations of intent, promises and the licensing. The bible readings set the tone of the occasion and provided the bishop with an opportunity to expand their meaning. The prayers allowed us to commit ourselves to God’s service after which he was welcomed by all parts of our community. Our wardens, the Tuesday Club, the pre-school, the Green Schools, the Friends of Faith, the Borough through the Deputy Mayor, the Deanery Synod and others I may have forgotten all made very positive contributions.
What a joy to hear full blooded singing of the well-chosen hymns as we moved into the Communion – a sharing of the church’s main meal. Then the reception in the Hall and a different sort of meal. A buffet to feed the proverbial five thousand greeted us and was shared by all of us. Now the time for chat – the meeting of old friends returning to their old church; mixing with friends of other churches and of other faiths and of none.
A long evening where every moment had its own significance. An evening which began a new chapter in the life of St John’s and St Mary’s. We pray that David and the family may be richly blessed and that they can rely on our support.
Hello St John’s and St Mary’s! We are Gareth and Nicole Hanekom from Cape Town, South Africa and we are super excited to be spending at least the next two years with you here in Isleworth.
We, along with our two cats, are staying nearby St John’s with Chantelle (Nicole’s sister) and her family. After Nicole decided to leave her job as a lecturer at a fashion design university in Cape Town, we felt that God was leading us both in a new direction that involved serving Him more actively. Knowing about this, Chantelle put us in touch with Tom and Dave, and our journey to Isleworth began. We were encouraged by Proverbs 3:5-6, which says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Gareth spends his time working in software development, developing his photography skills, attempting to skateboard, and making music. In South Africa, Gareth played drums and sang in his brother’s band and was part of the church worship team. He also plays guitar and some piano. Nicole loves to create and appreciate art, including drawing, painting, clothing design, and pottery. Soon after arriving, she joined Nicola’s crochet group to learn how to crochet.
We’ll be assisting at St John’s and St Mary’s behind the scenes and wherever Dave needs any extra hands. We hope to use our creativity and experience in worship and youth leadership to do work that pleases God and benefits both churches, as well as the local community.
We look forward to getting to know everyone!
Gareth and Nicole
At the end of July I said a fond farewell to my class and left my familiar world of primary school teaching ready to take on a new challenge. I’ve always enjoyed teaching children but with the ever-increasing workload and long hours I was finding it hard to maintain a healthy work life balance.
For some time I’ve felt a strong sense of God’s presence in my life and have looked into jobs in youth ministry, so I am very happy to now be working for the church I’ve been a part of for some years. As Jesus says, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ I’m thrilled to be able to work with our amazing children’s group leaders in preparing young people to enter into a meaningful relationship with Jesus and my vision for the church is that each young person knows how unique and special they are in God’s eyes.
I also feel very excited about the future of St. John’s and St. Mary’s as Dave takes on his new role of vicar. I hope that by working alongside him we will be able to reach out into the community and share the gospel to younger and older people alike. Flightpath, our monthly children’s service will certainly continue as it has been a success with the kids but in time it would be wonderful to enrich the children’s ministry in other ways too, so I believe it is time to dream big and have faith that God will bless it!
It was coming up to 3 months ago that we said goodbye to Tom and Jo. I am happy to report they have settled into church life in Nottingham where Tom is currently chaplain to the Bishop there.
A lot has been happening in the last 3 months behind the scenes for us at St John’s and St Mary’s, and I thought I’d update you on where we are up to. Thankfully, it has been agreed that I will be the vicar! The official service of installation will be on Tuesday, 17th October from 7:30pm at St John’s. All welcome. As a family, we are so excited to be in Isleworth long term. After some redecorating, we will be moving into the vicarage on St John’s Road in coming weeks.
Before all this, the Bishop is happy for me to take services, so from next Sunday 24th September, I will be back on duty. After discussions with many at church before Tom left, the PCC agreed that St John’s will meet at 10.30am to allow me time to get down from the service at St Mary’s, which finishes around 10am. This new service time of 10.30am for St John’s will come into effect from 24th September. St Mary’s will remain at 9am. I am aware that with service times it is impossible to please everyone and I’m sorry if these times are an inconvenience to some of you, but we felt we had no alternative now there was to be only one member of the clergy in the parish.
The final thing to add is a HUGE thank you to Brian and Gayle our churchwardens for steering the ship through the last 3 months, and for the many volunteers and clergy who have stepped in to help as well. See you soon!
Last Sunday I announced our next move.
The Rt Rev’d Paul Williams, the former Bishop of Kensington, now Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham is appointing me, as from the beginning of September, as his interim Chaplain. Therefore, Joanna and I will be moving into Southwell at the end of August. We are excited about this and indeed it tempers our sadness on leaving our many friends and the ministry we have loved in Isleworth.
With his current Chaplain moving on to a new post, he is taking the opportunity to review the best way to structure his team and so my appointment is an interim one, for up to 6 months. During that time, I will be exploring with him new opportunities for me to serve in a parish, I very much hope in his Diocese. I am greatly looking forward to working with him and his team, to a new emphasis in my ministry and also for the opportunity to get to know a new Diocese.
We spent much of Thursday in Southwell, looking round and meeting people. It all now seems much more real! Southwell, with its magnificent minster church is where the Diocese has its offices and the Bishop lives. It’s a pleasant market town and we will enjoy getting to know it, although we do not expect to be there for very long. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with the Bishop.
Jubilee House, a modern building, is where all the Diocesan and Bishop’s staff work. Open plan, I’ll have my desk there – quite a change from what I’ve been used to for all the time I have been working. However, it felt very appealing and practical to have everyone together in one big space – Bishop (of Sherwood,) Archdeacons, Chief Exec, Registrar, Advisors, Schools Board, etc.