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Revd Jonathan Cain: Change and Unchanging

Revd Jonathan Cain

Bolton Abbey Parish Magazine

September 2018

Change and Unchanging

‘We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul’.
Hebrews 6.19

If we engage with the Biblical narrative we come to appreciate that change is woven into the very fabric of creation. The second day is
not like the first day; periods of activity are punctuated by periods of rest.

My three years as assistant curate in the parish of Bolton Abbey has been a period of significant change, personally and for my family. I
have learned to inhabit the role of a priest, a role that carries major implications for Rebecca and the boys. Two of our boys have gone
away to live and study (although Arthur has now returned for a time), and we said goodbye to the primary school playground. My beloved
father died, and Rebecca’s father has become incapacitated. The three years have included much joy, including the celebration of our
Silver Wedding Anniversary, and the privilege of accompanying many in the Priory community at similar points of change, joy, celebration
and grief.

The words from the letter to the Hebrews are embroidered on my green stole. A reminder of faith nurtured in the Boys’ Brigade whose
motto is ‘Sure and Steadfast’. In a world that is forever changing, a reminder of the unchanging nature of God, whose love for us is new
every morning. In good times and bad, these are words that keep me anchored to my twin vocation: to be a human being in relationship
with others and to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

As I prepare to leave the Priory I am very aware of the changes that face the community here, both individually and corporately. As I
thank you and thank God for our time and fellowship together, for the love and friendship that you have extended to Rebecca, the boys
and me, I pray that all would embrace the change that is to come, secure in the hope that God is faithful, a sure and steadfast anchor of
the soul.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.