A day to celebrate

On Sunday January 15, Jenny Paton-Williams was licensed by the Bishop as
a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Edinburgh. Since she and David moved up
from Leeds, Jenny has quietly and sensitively sought the form her Lay
Ministry might take up here, and it is great that she has been affirmed
in her calling. The Bishop charged us: “Will you, the people of God in
this place, support Jenny with your prayers and encouragement for her
ministry among you and in the wider community?” With the help of God, of
course we will, Jenny. You’ll work with grace and care and we are
delighted to welcome you!

That same day we had a different but very welcome cause for celebration.
Depending on how the calendar falls, the second Sunday after Epiphany is
sometimes the Birthday of Gilbert Clark, MBE, a person who doesn’t
believe that he is extraordinary, but who is much treasured both within
the Columban community and further afield. We celebrated his 95th
birthday, which had actually occurred two days earlier. Gilbert’s still
cultivating his allotment, still bringing vegetables to sell to raise
funds for Christian Aid, still haranguing us if we allow ourselves a
short break from singing carols (“they won’t give us any money if we’re
silent”), still attending many meetings, still protesting at injustices.
He keeps us on our toes and it’s hard to keep up with him, bless him.

Words: Val Bland
Pictures: (c) Katherine McHale