Rector's Jottings (No. 4/2024)
PA's Ponderings (No. 6/2024)
On Saturday Mthr Clemency, Fr Bruce and I took part in a celebration for a special anniversary of the North London Pastoral Assistants (NLPA) scheme. It was held at St Pancras Old Church. All of the previous pastoral assistants from across the scheme were invited along with supervisors, founders and trustees.
As one of the most recent additions to the scheme it was important to me to understand the scale and history of the scheme I am a part of.
It has been common place for years that evangelical churches have employed young people to act as interns or similar other jobs in order to help them discern Gods call on their lives. It was and still is more unusual to find these opportunities in more Catholic settings. This was one of the reasons that the NLPA was first set up to nurture and support young people of the Anglo-Catholic tradition who are eager to understand their role within the church and the churches role within their own lives.
A large amount of the schemes alumni have gone on to be ordained as priests in the church of England but not all. People have gone on to be teachers, vergers and other interesting and varied careers. In the over 20 years that the scheme has run it has prioritised the future of the church by not only providing a great variety experience to potential future clergy but by supporting the young people involved as the individuals they are. The NLPA is not an assembly line designed to produce priests. It is an opportunity for the pastoral assistants to be involved in the challenges and joys of real parish ministry. And over 60 ordinations have already come out of it!
Some of my greatest joys so far in my time with you have come from being made to feel part of the community here. Going in to St Mary's school has meant that I am frequently greeted with great joy at my presence. Sharing food together at welcoming Wednesday has also helped me experience fellowship as part of the community of Hornsey parish church. There are so many people and so many places here that have allowed me to serve them and I will always be grateful for that.
I have found great value in my time so far as a pastoral assistant and look forward to continuing to grow over my next 18 months here, The support of the entire parish and the scheme is helping me to grow and I look forward to one day joining the schemes alumni like Mthr Clemency and Fr Ben.
Lent Course starts this Monday 12th February
Over the next 6 weeks we will be running an experiential Lent course with our sister churches of Holy Trinity and Holy Innocents. This course is based on the Christian Basics Course and will be beneficial to people who have done all levels of Christian study. A light supper be provided.
Where: Hornsey Parish Church
When: Mondays 7-8.30pm (light supper from 6.30pm)
Who is it for: EVERYONE!
See below for more details
Father Bruce Batstone