January, February and March 2014 will be slightly different at St Philip’s because David will be away on study leave. David says: ‘One thing I have tried to do at St Philip’s is to increase the number of other people involved in running the church – mostly lay members of the congregation, but also other priests and paid employees. So this will be a good test of how successful that’s been! An unacceptably high proportion of priests experience burn-out in their ministry. I don’t think I’m one of them. But the role comes with an unusual combination of pressures and I understand how some clergy lose inspiration and direction after a while. So once every ten years clergy are given three months out for study leave: for renewal, refreshment and learning. One thing which concerns me, looking back on my first decade in ministry, is how little I’ve read during those ten years. Your priest should be someone whose mind is alive and open to the wider world! So I have one resolution for the next ten years even before my study leave starts. I’m spending two months in Berlin and have enrolled on a Goethe Institut Intensive German Language Course. And I will be spending time with the pastors and congregations of churches in central Berlin. You will be in good hands.’
Lesley Perry will be overseeing the life of the church during this time. But if you need to talk to someone at the church during this time, first contact our administrator Liz Christie (email@example.com; 020 7938 1367). We will be helped during these three months by a number of visiting priests, especially at the Sunday 10.30 am Eucharist. David’s first Sunday back will be the day of our Annual Church Meeting: Sunday 6 April 2013.