Introduction by Mark Wilson - Priest in Charge

Revd Mark Wilson

 

First thoughts on the Parishes within the Walbury Beacon Benefice.

 

It is a great pleasure for me to greet you all as the new Priest in Charge of the Walbury Beacon Parishes.

I am originally from Co. Kilkenny in the south-east of Ireland. I was brought up there on a farm and had a very happy childhood. However at the age of eighteen having attended an agricultural college I felt a call to be a full-time priest. I studied in Trinity College, Dublin and was ordained in 1980. Since then I have served in a variety of settings. I have been an Army Chaplain for five years, a hospital chaplain for twelve years and have served in various parishes, both rural and urban. I have a wide range of interests including reading and golf. I also enjoy travel and meeting new people.

I am extremely grateful to those who have kept the ministry of the Parishes vibrant and alive during the vacancy. All those on the Ministry Team and the many others who have given of their time and talents to ensure that our witness to the Risen Christ continued.

As I prepare to come among you there are some thoughts at this early stage that I would want to stress. Firstly the Christian faith that I believe in is first and foremost about relationships. It is about our relationship with God and with each other. The vertical and the horizontal if you like. Keeping the history of the Benefice in mind, I will strive to ensure that we get both of these right. I want us to be a truly worshipping Christian presence in this little corner of Berkshire and living witnesses to the love of God for our troubled world today. This will of course mean that much of what we do will be to reach out to others in love and service. This outreach will not be easy but is something I regard as vital for the long term future of the Parishes within the Benefice.  I have been an ecumenist throughout my ministry. I will seek to continue the excellent relationships that already exist and also work towards building new ones with our fellow Christians. At this stage I would appeal to all members of the Benefice, to be open in their thoughts and to strive for that sense of excitement and adventure that this new opportunity gives us.

Alongside this there will of course be more mundane matters to deal with. The day to day finances and the need to keep them on a sustainable path. The day to day running of the Parishes will inevitably bring its own challenges. The fostering of good and sustainable relationships between all the Churches that make up the Benefice. From my experience I know that we are well served by many and that by working together in the Spirit of the Gospel all things are possible. One of my favourite sayings is ‘Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God’.

Jesus’ final prayer for his disciples was ‘that they would all be one, just as he and the Father are one’. We are the inheritors of those first disciples and therefore of that Divine prayer. May each one of us make that prayer our own.

 

With every blessing to you all,

Mark.


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