Fr Guy Jamieson, the new vicar of Nelson Little Marsden, introduces himself with this guest contribution and thanks the community for the warm welcome he and his family has received since moving to Pendle.
This is as much a thank you as it is notice of a new appointment for the people of Nelson, especially in the Little Marsden parish.
As the next Vicar of St Paul’s, my family and I have just arrived from Halifax, West Yorkshire, where I have been serving as the vicar of two parishes for the past 13 years.
Prior to that I served as an assistant priest in Bradford, a city in which I grew as a child, went to school and began my working life.
It’s a well known fact that moving house is one of life’s most exhausting experiences, so we all naturally look for help in those simple ways that friends can give.
Within a few hours of arriving at the vicarage with a team of removal men, that help was forthcoming. There was a neighbour who came bearing gifts of tea, coffee, sugar, milk and biscuits; there were cards and words of welcome; help with curtains and maps of the local area! So thank you to our new neighbours.
The new appointment is something I am both thankful for and very much looking forward to beginning. This is a diverse town full of opportunities to serve as a parish priest and play my part in the nurture of its common life.
This is a life which, when time allows, will be shared by my family. My wife of 21 years, Rachel, is a mental health lawyer, and our 17-year-old son, Benjamin, is currently completing Sixth Form studies.
Together, we are looking forward to a new chapter in our family life and have already begun to explore the diversity which is so characteristic of this part of Lancashire.
My personal interests have, since childhood, revolved around music and the arts – we’re born to be creative! I love the cinema and am in constant awe at the technical skills of film-makers to create experiences which are, almost literally, sometimes otherworldly.
Having been brought up in a musical household I have increasingly been thankful for learning how to read music, sing and play the clarinet – something frequently done for church funds!
On a visit to St Paul’s CE school before the end of the summer term, I promised the children that I’d make music part of our shared experience, especially when I learned that there are a number of children who play musical instruments.
My hope for the church is that it can live up to the best of what it has always done, here and all over the world.
In every generation it has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to transform situations.
Sometimes these situations are in the lives of individuals where, over time, a renewed sense of purpose and direction has arisen.
At other times it has been a situation where a whole community has been changed by, for example, some kind of educational, cultural or social initiative in the community.
Although a lot of its life and work is hidden, the church has always prioritised with transforming the poverty of situations as they arise; its life is a treasure to be shared in the service of others.
The church rejoices in a life which remains able to galvanise ever-new possibilities in the lives of the people in the neighbourhoods in which it is set.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting as many people as possible and learning about the area, its history and its hopes.
∙ Fr Guy Jamieson will be licensed as the next vicar of Nelson Little Marsden on Thursday.