The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Vicar's Letter

March 2009

Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

This is my last letter to you as your Vicar. At the end of the month I shall retire and join the ranks of the pensioners. It is going to be strange, for many of the routines of my life will disappear, and like so many people entering retirement I sometimes wonder what I shall do with my time. Of course I have hobbies and interests, some of which have been sadly neglected in recent years, and it will be good to get back to them again. But it will be odd to have days when the 'phone does not ring, and the only folk who come to the door will be friends and neighbours or delivery staff. In fact, for the first time in forty years I am going to have to adjust to the sort of home life most of you have always enjoyed!

One of the privileges of a parish priest is to be allowed to share in the joys and sorrows of other people's lives. Over the past seven years I have shared with many of you the joys of a new baby, the excitement of preparing for a wedding, the sorrows of illness or the death of someone very dear to you, and the anxieties and perplexities of all the troubles and disappointments that weave themselves into the fabric of our lives. It has meant a great deal to me to be able to share the tears and the laughter, and to contribute in some way to the eventual outcome of these major incidents in life.

Although there will be some months when the parish is without its own Vicar, the worship and ministry of the Church will continue. My last services in the parish will be on Sunday, 8 March, and after that there will be slight adjustments to our service arrangements: in particular our Worship for Everyone service will move to the third Sunday in the month and will not include Holy Communion. For those who wish to attend a Communion Service on that Sunday, there will be one at 10.30 at Dagnall Church, so that no-one need feel deprived of the opportunity to receive Holy Communion every Sunday. We intend that all the other Sunday services will remain as at present.

Specific members of the congregation have accepted responsibility for making arrangements for Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, and these you will find listed in a separate panel. We are in the process of setting up a Parish Office in one of the rooms of the Coffee Tavern, and messages may be left on the 'phone there (222254) or at the Vicarage (220261). These will be monitored regularly and enquiries followed up as quickly as possible.

So it remains only for me to wish you all God's blessing and to thank you for your friendship and support over the past seven years.


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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.