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Message from the Curate

Following the Voice of the Good Shepherd I’ve just spent a happy few minutes crawling around on the floor with some toddlers in Gilmorton Church. We pretended to be sheep and took it in turns to play the shepherd. The shepherd’s job was to keep the sheep safely in the fold by lying across the doorway at ‘night’, then to wake them up and call them out of the fold before leading them all around the church in search of ‘grass’ and clean water. The shepherd had a hard task!

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The image of Jesus being the Good Shepherd and we his cared-for sheep is a powerful one with which many of us will be familiar. Perhaps it has even more resonance out here in our country parishes where there really are sheep and lambs all around us, grazing in fields or churchyards, or poking their noses through fences to try to get into gardens! There is a great sense of comfort in believing that each of us matters to God who cares for us, who calls us by name and leads us to find life through him – life which continues even beyond the gate of death. There is a challenge for all of us in this, though. It may be tempting to stay with the image of being kept safe in the sheepfold with the shepherd lying across the door. However, in order to grow in faith and to discover God’s true life for us we need to be called out from the fold onto the hillside, called by name by our Good Shepherd who will lead us to the places where we shall be fed and watered. Each one of us is urged by God to listen for his voice calling us by name. Sometimes this comes in a dramatic flash, as happened to St Paul on the Damascus road. More often, people gradually get a sense of God’s voice calling to them over a longer period of time, perhaps years, until they are sure enough to be able to take the steps towards his voice, and in faith terms that is when the real adventure begins! The image of the Good Shepherd is also applicable to the Church as a whole. The Church of England faces many different challenges currently, and one of them is the need to reduce the number of stipendiary (paid) clergy in the next few years. In this diocese we are considering how to do this through the ‘2020 Vision for Mission and Ministry’. In this deanery we need to reduce the current 11 stipendiary ministers to 9.5 by 2020. The first draft of a plan towards this end has just been published. It includes some new ideas, some opportunities and also some challenges, but it is clear that there will need to be changes in the way we think about church. We need as many people as possible to join in the discussions about the best way forward. Please contact me, Jane Kennedy or Sam Lloyd to see the 2020 Vision Plan or to add your thoughts to the discussion. We may be resistant to change, or scared by the prospect of it. We may wish to stay out of harm’s way in the sheepfold. However, God, the Good Shepherd calls us out to receive his life. We do not know where he will lead us but if we stay close to the Good Shepherd we shall not stray in the wrong direction. God longs only to give us his life and if we follow him we have nothing to fear, and everything to live for. Revd Emma Davies Weddings 28 April – Kevin Smith and Nicola Potter, married in Misterton Church 28 April – Simon Wilson and Sarah Gardner, married in Misterton Church Funerals: 11th May - Gilmorton – Elsie Woodward, age 85 years 8 April - Kimcote – Madge Hunt, age 87 years

Husbands Bosworth Methodist Chapel Services (all at 6.30pm) June 5th Rev. Trevor Thomas June 12th Mrs. Kathy Morrison June 19th Rev. Brian Kennard - the Lord's Supper June 26th at Kibworth Methodist church

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