St. Nicholas Church, Silton, Dorset

   St Nicholas Church
   Silton, Dorset
   SP8 5PR

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Dear Friends,


'All things come to an end' are words from Psalm 119 verse 96 which happens to be the longest psalm with 176 verses!   When some things come to an end, many people breathe a sigh of relief.   World Wars come to an end, and people on all sides look back and reflect on the waste and the horror and the defeats, as well as on the victories and the gains. Every ending makes for a new beginning. As an old saying puts it, 'One door closes but another opens.'


My ministry at Silton has been a few Sundays short of six years.  Now, for family and personal reasons, the time has come to make the decision to retire.  My final service in Silton Church will be on Sunday 25th November.  The last Sunday of the Church's year.  The Church's new year begins on Advent Sunday, 2nd December, with its traditional looking forward to Christmas Day and the celebration of a new beginning with the birth of Jesus in that stable in Bethlehem.   As you know, the calendar year ends on 31st December and the New Year starts on 1st January; the first month of the year named after the Roman god 'Janus' who had two faces; with one he looked back and with the other he looked forward – as one does at the New Year.


We should not be troubled by endings; after all, we experience the ending of every day throughout our lives.  A mini-rehearsal for the Real Thing!  When we do come to our own ending – and we will - do not be afraid.  One day we will lay us down in peace with rich thanksgiving for all we have known in the past, then discover that we wake to that new beginning which has no ending.


I give thanks to God who guided my steps to that day I walked up the path to St Nicholas Church for the first time and saw that magnificent view in all its glory;  then to enter into the beauty of holiness held within the walls of that ancient building.  I know that God continues with me, and will lead me into all that is yet to be.


Thank you Silton for sharing these past six years with me, in all times of joy and celebration, as well as in those times of tears and troubles.   Silton has seen much and done much throughout past years.  And Silton will continue to do much more in the years that lie ahead. May the coming years bring us love, joy, and peace.


My beloved wife, Sue, joins me in wishing you all that is best, now and for the morrow.


God bless you every single day.

                                                                                                                Bede Cooper

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