From the Rector

Since I last wrote notes for this column, it has been a time of arrivals in the church.

Firstly, and most importantly for us here in Camelside, Robin Thwaites, our new curate, is fully among us.

As you will know from last month’s edition, Robin, his wife, Emmy, and their three children, arrived in June and moved into the fine house at Merrymeeting that the Diocese is renting. But since then Robin has been commissioned for ministry in our parishes.

It had been planned that he and his six colleagues would be ordained deacon in the Cathedral in early July, but of course that could not happen. Instead, they were commissioned by Bishop Philip at a Zoom meeting on Friday 3rd July, a virtual ceremony ‘attended’ by 150 people.

Robin is now permitted to lead Morning and Evening Prayer, take funerals and preach at Sunday worship. He has already had a chance to meet members of St Breward, St Tudy and Helland, and will be able to meet other congregations as the weeks go by.

It is really good to have Robin with us and he is going to be a valuable member of our clergy team as he serves his curacy. The ordination is now scheduled for Friday 25th September and it is to be hoped that this date can be fulfilled.

Secondly, we now have a new Bishop of St Germans.

Bishop Chris, who has been with us for a number of years, has now moved on to a new post, and Hugh Nelson has arrived to work among us in the Diocese of Truro.

Bishop Hugh was consecrated at a much scaled-down service held in the chapel at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday 15th July.

The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, assisted by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mulally. It was streamed live on YouTube and many of us tuned in. it was quite a culture shock to see everyone in the chapel wearing face masks. This was no doubt a sound precaution but was done apparently because two-metre distancing in the chapel is difficult.

And thirdly, not so much an arrival as a second coming!

Sunday worship is back in our churches. After 16 weeks of empty Sunday mornings apart from online services and private prayer, public worship was allowed from 4th July onwards.

Since Sunday 5th July, we have been staging services in some of our churches, with inevitable strict hygiene regulations and, sadly, a cap on numbers, a figure which varies from church to church because of different sizes and configurations.

That first Sunday back felt very exciting but quite strange too. It was the longest gap between services I have ever experienced, and I have to confess to some nerves on that first day back. But any anxieties I had were more than offset by the joy of seeing so many dear friends whose actual presence I had missed so much.

For now, some will feel safer staying away and that is absolutely fine. It is important that we all move at a pace that seems wise to us. We plan to offer worship every Sunday but not in all churches on the same day by any means.

We will make details known through posters in churches, via email and on the Camelside Benefice Facebook page. So it has been a busy month, but a month with plenty of positive news. Thanks be to God!

David Seymour


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