Letter from Claire
After a wonderful service of Sung Evensong
we had refreshments and Claire cut her 'St Peter's Cake'
As she embarks on the next part of her journey
our love and prayers go with her.
Letter from Claire
Two Weeks In…
At the time of writing I’ve been at Cranmer Hall for two weeks. It feels like longer and, although I knew it would be hard, it has been harder than I anticipated. I’ve missed being at St Peter’s, I’ve missed the church family,
I’ve missed my friends, I’ve missed people to laugh with and I’ve missed being known.
I am slowly adapting to life in shared house: living mostly in a room, sharing a bathroom, with set times to go to college for breakfast, lunch and tea, meals on a tray, students everywhere and walking up and down steep hills to get anywhere!
I am, however, surrounded by some amazing new people, each with their own story of how they came to this place, of their journey of faith and how their relationship with Jesus has guided or transformed their life. There are people from all walks of life and many varied careers; there are people from all over the country training for ministry in the Church of England; there are people from other nations: New Zealand, Malawi, Nigeria, America, Zimbabwe, Canada, Belgium all called by God to this place; there are many younger ordinands, each with a burning passion to serve the Lord and there are wonderful, inspiring tutors, each with so much wisdom, knowledge and enthusiasm. Everyone is friendly and day by day, we are getting to know each other.
So… two thoughts:
Community is built on positive relationships and loving each other. God brings people together as a church family. Being part of the body of Christ, strengthens our witness to his transforming love and equips us to love and serve the Lord in all that we do so prioritise coming to church each week; get involved in what is happening; take time to talk to each other beyond the daily hello; invest time in getting to know what is happening in people’s lives and pray for one another. Don’t underestimate the power of fellowship.
Hebrews 10: 24-25 says, ‘Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. 25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.’
I know that the ongoing encouragement of the church family will help me face all of the new challenges to come.
Prayer sustains us in all we do and trusting that God hears and answers prayer, we can offer to him all our anxieties, troubles and fears. Here, we have to attend daily morning prayer at 8am in the college chapel plus each day there is a different evening service to attend. This for me has been an absolute joy. I’ve loved it all! The college is also under the shadow of Durham Cathedral and we spent a wonderful quiet day at the end of the first week, just allowing the presence of God, tangible in such an awe-inspiring placeof prayer for so many centuries, to calm our fears.
Psalm 62:5-6, 8 says,’ God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken…Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.’
I’ve certainly been reminded of the value of prayer, alone yes but the power of praying with others has really upheld me each day and drawn me out of the deep water at times, into the loving arms of our Lord and Saviour.
I am thankful for the ongoing prayers of the St Peter’s community and will continue to hold all at St Peter’s in my prayers.
With love in Christ