Friday, 20 May 2016

Terry Hampton's Moving Notes

Two extracts from “The Pilot” in 1983 today. This was the Anglican Magazine for the Island of Jersey, and each month it would have different articles, and also Church news from the Rectors, Vicars, Curates etc of all the different Anglican Churches – if they got their copy in on time!

In late 1983, the Reverend Terry Hampton and his family left St Aubin on the Hill where Terry had been Vicar, and he became the new Rector of Grouville. These extracts give a flavour of both churches, and also what it is like to leave a place where you have put down roots over many years, and move somewhere new. Of course, it was hardly the other side of the world, only the other side of the Island, but as all good Jersey folk know, it is a long way from St Brelade to Grouville!

St Aubin on the Hill
November 1983

DOUBLE YOUR MONEY. This actually happened at our last church council meeting, when it was decided to "top-up" the Harvest gifts to £200. The collections have gone to the work of TEAR Fund and their outreach in South America amongst Indian communities.

Our numbers were well down on other years, and with a late date for harvest decoration our team of ladies did a marvellous job with the small amount of produce and flowers. The baskets of harvest things taken out were greatly appreciated. But a plea that next year we do need more helpers, and people to tidy up.

EATS AND SWEETS. To all gourmands and those who enjoy good company: on Thursday, November 3rd, at Hotel Christina we will hold our annual Ecumenical Dinner. Tickets from Roy Fauvel, and I hope that many of you will come to it. Members of the Jewish congregation are joining us, plus our Catholic friends, so it will be a rather special evening.

EPHPHATHA. This was a conference in Chichester for all the Diocesan clergy, and it was very good indeed. All the fears about tramping miles to buy grub, or wasting hours over hot stoves cooking food were quite groundless, and we really did get to know one another - though it seems daft that we have to go to England to get to know the Jersey clergy well!

Some of the lectures were quite brilliant, others very good, and Alex McCowan taking us through St Mark's Gospel was an evening none of us will forget. It was great that Tony Bellows, our church accountant, could join us, and he certainly kept the other bunch of Jersey clerics on their toes.

NOBEL PRIZES. Hearing that William Golding had been awarded the Literature prize amidst some disquiet, although a case of rejoicing for English folk, reminds me to remind you to look over the bookstall each week.

Ruth Vibert will be looking after it now, and do please encourage her and benefit yourselves by buying books, asking her to get something which isn't there, or recommending books we should have on view. Very few of us read as much as we should, and there is some marvellous material about to teach us, build us up, and fill: our minds with good things instead of the awful rubbish we so often let in to it.

THE FAITHFUL. I have already been told many times what a marvellous choir I shall be inheriting when we move to the "the parish in the East." So now I want to place on record my thanks to Rozelle and Ernest for their faithfulness during our ten years at St Aubin. Missing only when ill or on holiday, I could rely on them week in, week out, to be there. Added to that, both help with reading lessons, ringing bells, putting up hymn boards, and reminding me when hymn lists didn't appear on the choir stalls! You don't feel half so lonely in your stall when there are a few other people there with you.

And of course I must record my very great gratitude to Bill Morrice, my organist for ten years, with never an angry word between us, but sometimes puzzlement from Bill when he didn't know what hymns to play because I'd left the list at home! And Bill has become an enthusiast for the new tunes in Sounds of Living Waters, and One Hundred Hymns for Today. So thank you, all three.

AND FINALLY. . . My last letter to you all at St Aubin on-the-Hill. It has been a wonderful ten years, and we have been very privileged to work in such a marvellous village community. We have had so many kindnesses, and it's almost unbelievable that when we came we didn't know anyone in the church or village. Visitors constantly remark on the atmosphere and welcome they find, and I know you will maintain this.

We have a gifted and strong church council who realize the tasks ahead, and with the support of all the church family, the testing time ahead will certainly be a -time of growth and learning. We shall discover afresh what that lovely phrase "the Body of Christ" means, and how vital each member is. Use the new Prayer Cards daily in your prayers for each other, the church, and Michael and council as they seek God's guidance in finding another minister for St Aubin -on -the -Hill.

And our family would covet a mention in your prayers as we go to our new work at Grouville, making new friends, learning, sharing insights learned here, and seeking to build up and extend God's Kingdom there. Our love and prayers for you all.

December 1983
SETTLING IN. "Has anyone seen or used the saw?" "I can't find my weddings file ...Dad, there is someone on the phone who wants you to go to a meeting, can you?" Well, the first feelings of being quite at sea are receding (though the Wedding file hasn't surfaced yet, and I fear it is sitting snugly at the bottom of one of three large tea-chests.) already some names and faces are getting fixed in the memory, and light switches, locks and the heating systems are slowly yielding their secrets. Our very real thanks to all who sent or brought plants and flowers, and those culinary friends who made sure we had a hot meal while in the throes of moving. 

I've rebuilt the compost heap, cleared a bed for strawberries, and Mark and I are about to tackle the job of making the garage into the place it is actually designed to be, and not a junk centre. With the aid of maps we are all finding out where people live, and are looking forward to making many new deep friends over the next months.

BEING INDUCED. The Church really has a knack of making simple things sound complicated! But all who packed into the church were part of a truly marvellous service. We used the new form of service, with its modem, very challenging prayers and statements, and that lovely part where different members of the community welcome the new Rector and promise to work with him. My thanks to organist, choir and extra members (two from St Aubin who blew with might and main) whose skills really made the singing "lift off". The Dean stressed that we are called to be the Body of Christ, and that all members are essential.

We had a superb team of workers who carted chairs, arranged flowers, came to a very thorough rehearsal and on the Monday evening made everyone welcome. Thank you all.

CLERGY CARING. I must mention here all the help and loving advice we have received from Laurie and Ruth. It's not easy for others to move into your home and to hear that their children have been climbing your beloved trees must make the blood run cold! To have them both available for counsel is a tremendous help, and I am very aware that the warmth and commitment in the church is the result of their faithful ministry here. Our thanks too to Angus and Babs Robson for passing on many valuable bits of information and suggestions.

OFF DUTY. In all the parishes where we have worked, we have had one day which we tried to keep as a family day. Of course, if there is a sudden bereavement or someone is rushed to hospital, I want to know so that I can visit and care for the people. So what we did was to have a neighbour taking our transferred phone calls, and when an emergency came, they popped round with a note. Simple!

But it does mean that we can have one day without the phone ringing and feel able to relax with book (or our new gift of a superb video) or to go out for a picnic or drive without feeling guilty. So, at the moment, we are keeping to a Friday as our off-duty day, and if you want to get hold of us about something, or to drop in, please can you leave Fridays clear for us. Many thanks.

CHRISTMAS PLANS. As I type this letter, our Church Committee have not yet met, and so I'm not absolutely certain of the services and times for the Festival. We are having cards duplicated, so make sure you get one. Would you all invite friends to join you for either the Christmas Eve crib service or the Midnight communion, and offer transport for any without. And please, in your prayers, remember all who lead these very special services, that they may speak to those who come perhaps only to a Christmas service each year. That something of the service may speak to them about God and His love for us in sharing His Son with us. And as the pressure mounts, remind yourself daily that Christmas is about "IMMANUEL"..."God with us."

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