Revd James Turnbull
Bolton Abbey Parish Magazine
December 2018 – January 2019
Seasonal Greetings to All
Those who remember the heady times of the restoration of the Priory building, the vision, confidence and ministry of Maurice
Slaughter in the later 1970s and early 1980s must I think be feeling a new excitement for the coming year. It is true that presently we are
faced with changes and re-arrangements brought about as usual by interregna, coupled in our case with pending plans for a new heating
system and Tim’s absence due to Margaret’s serious illness, but we look forward through all this to welcoming a new incumbent in 2019
with all the hopeful anticipation that entails. That person will follow a particularly illustrious group of priests who have all led us so well:
Maurice of course, who, until the end said the Daily Office ‘in Greek’, beloved Roland who worked and worried himself through his
ministerial time with spiritual insight and close pastoral care. After a long interregnum of 8 months we were blessed by the ministry of
John who came with much pastoral experience and theological learning to lift us with his carefully crafted sermons and his muted
but deeply caring abilities to ease the pain of many who were dying. George’s time with us was unhappily foreshortened but no less
memorable for that; quiet, thoughtful, wise, widely experienced particularly in urban ministry, as with all, deeply missed.
We have very recently said farewell to Simon and Jonathan. Simon, who re-adjusted the liturgy so that every part of it was meaningful
and made us think hard with his sermons. In a way a new Maurice who saw the need for upgrading the building of the Priory itself.
The Priory deserved the best and welcomed them all. We parted thankful and grateful. Our good fortune persists in the presences of
the wardens and those who will recommend the new appointment. We have a hard working PCC including new and younger members.
We have a Parish Administrator without whom nothing would go as smoothly as it does. We have a Verger, Sacristan, Family Service
Team, Sidesmen, Guides and Cleaners beyond praise. We have a staunch congregation most of whom, when they can, make their own
personal individual contribution. We have a conscientious choir and organist bringing the joy and worshipfulness of music without which
the services would be less meaningful.
Lastly, we must thank Barry who is filling a very large breach quietly and effectively and leaving us with memories of balloons, Mars-bars
and teddy bears not to mention the shard of glass, and smiles on our faces as we contemplate the meaning of life.
Let us then give thanks for our past – Let us rejoice and welcome the future.
A Holy Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year to you and yours.
Revd James Turnbull