Jess writes….

Time flies!

It’s hard to believe that I have already completed a year of ordination training. Time really has flown by. Over the past ten months I have been challenged and stretched, surprised and blessed.

Joining the family at All Hallows has been such a blessing. I have been loved, encouraged, supported and comforted at times of need. The year has had its ups and downs as we have journeyed through the restructure that was announced by St John’s College in November 2014, and as we as a community have set out as the first students on the Community Mission Pathway (CMP). As Mark, our vicar, acknowledged in last month’s article, some of the hopes for this pathway have not been realised in its first year, and this has led us to reflect and seek a way forward as a community.

Over the last six weeks I have felt led by God to consider the future of my training and it is with great sadness that I will be leaving Nottingham this summer and moving to Durham where I will join the community at Cranmer Hall. The restructure at St John’s brings with it uncertainty about the third year of my training and the academic pressures greatly impact my desire for balance and wellbeing.

It has been a really challenging time as I have sought to understand why this is happening. Why did God call me here in the first place? Why would he be calling me on now? I have prayed and asked all my questions and it was in church just two weeks ago when I felt God remind me that at times we just have to accept that there are things that we won’t understand right now.

Stepping out blind requires faith, and whilst it seems scary, I trust that God will be faithful. I very much see this as a message for All Hallows at this time as I have been so encouraged during my time here to see a congregation so committed to working through change and uncertainty.

Just this weekend, our guest speaker, Revd Andrea Russell spoke to us about journeying with God from one side to the other, as the disciples did when Jesus said ‘let’s go across to the other side’ in Matt 4:35-41, where Jesus calms the storm. Andrea spoke powerfully about the reality that we are called to journey through the storm when our desire would be to journey round it. In 1 Thessalonians 5:24 we are promised that ‘The one who calls you is faithful, and he will continue to be faithful.’

As I journey on from Nottingham to Durham, still very much in the midst of a storm, I will hold this parish in my heart and in my prayers, expectant that God in his faithfulness will honour his calling on both my life and yours as a congregation. I very much hope that I will have opportunities to visit you all in the future, and I know Mark and my fellow students will keep me posted on how you are doing.

With love,

Jess x