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Letter from the Vicar (February 2017/March 2017)

This month’s letter is written by Rev Canon Andrew Gough, Vicar designate.

Dear friends,

There is a wonderful biblical passage from the book of the prophet Jeremiah, 29: 11-13 which says: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’

It is good for us all to look back and try to make sense of our lives, whether we are Christians or not. However, for us who are people of faith it is about looking at how God has shaped our lives and where he is leading us, and then looking back to see if we can find a pattern or direction.

As I prepare to leave St Ives in Cornwall where I have been the vicar for the last seven years and take up your invitation to become your new vicar I strongly feel this is what God wants of me in the next part of my priestly ministry.  I hope and pray that the new opportunities of working together and continuing to discover God’s kingdom will be exciting and empowering for us all.

Let me tell you a little about myself.  I am a Cornishman by birth, but only just over the river Tamar! I was brought up in a Christian family and it became clear at a very young age that I wanted to be a priest. Thus, I have done little other than be a priest all of my working life!  I celebrated thirty years as a priest in 2016. I trained at Salisbury Wells Theological College and was the youngest student in residence! My ordination was in Chichester cathedral and I served as a curate at Christ Church, St Leonards on Sea and later a second curacy in Herefordshire.  I nearly became a curate at Holy Trinity, Weymouth and was interviewed while at college by Fr Stephen Venner, now Bishop Venner!  However, Chichester Diocese offered me a better deal in those days!

I was just twenty-nine years old when I took my first incumbency in the Diocese of Lichfield and since have had incumbencies in Shropshire, Devon and Cornwall. Over the years I have been very active in the workings of the wider Diocese of Truro and worked tirelessly in promoting the World Church and organising visits and managing budgets with our overseas partners.  In a personal capacity, I have been involved in work in   Malawi and initially with the building of an orphanage there. Having visited Malawi and several parts of Africa I have many friends all over that wonderful continent.

Bishop Tim, whom you will all know well, formerly of Sherborne, made me a non-residentiary Canon of Truro a few years ago for my work within the Diocese and overseas. I am an experienced school governor and chair of   governors, training incumbent for curates and I have a strong catholic and liberal theology.  I believe that the Church should be committed to openness, inclusion and welcome to everyone.

Music is very important to me, especially church music. The strong Choral tradition of the Church of England cannot be compared to anything else, in my opinion! I enjoy singing and play the piano and organ. I am passionate about good and well-ordered liturgy and music to complement it. It is my belief that every Sunday service is a Family service and one where all can be involved in the liturgy.

I have a partner of twenty-three years called John who has his own business and who is also a very committed and active Christian. If you call at the vicarage you will always find a welcome but especially from ‘Buddy’ our rescue white westie.  Now he has attitude! 

Finally, I hope that you will find that I have a good sense of humour.

At the time of writing this letter, I believe that the date of my licensing has been set for Monday 3rd April, 7pm with the Bishop of Salisbury.  I hope that you will be able to come along.

Every Blessing,

Father Andrew

Rev Canon Andrew Gough, Vicar designate

February 2017

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CONGRATULATIONS To Peter and Anne Rendall on the occasion of their Diamond wedding anniversary (60th!!!!). Father Andrew blessed their marriage at the conclusion of the Parish Eucharist on Sunday 9th September.

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