Journeys, endings and new beginnings…
Advent is a season of anticipation, expectation and hopefulness.
The time between now and Christmas Day is one time of expectant waiting and excited preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity, Christ’s birth at Christmas, but also the return of Christ at the Second Coming in Glory. The term "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming or arrival”. And, whenever I hear the word Advent, I cannot help but think of the word with which it shares its root: Adventure.
Due to the COVID pandemic, this past year has in many ways been a thoroughly unique “adventure” for all of us — as individuals, as families, as a School community, as a nation and as a world! Every adventure has its high points and lows points; harrowing challenges, surprising joys and remarkable lessons learned. As a community, we have risen to the challenges; thrived despite restrictions, difficulties and inconvenience; shown resolve, resilience, good humour and kindness.
I am thankful and proud to have shared this and other adventures here at Warwick School for the past two years as Chaplain. It has been a remarkable journey, and one I shall never forget, and one that I know has shaped, inspired and encouraged me deeply. My time here (and as Curate of St Mary’s, Warwick) has come to an end. And, so, it is with a heavy heart that I must bid you all farewell.
I have been offered the opportunity of a new adventure as the Priest-in-Charge of the Northleach Benefice and The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (“The Cathedral of the Cotswolds”). Like the Shepherds or Three Wise Men in the Christmas story, I feel I must heed and follow God’s call, even though the way forward is unknown. However, my time and experiences here at Warwick School have given me the hope, courage and tenacity to say “Yes!” to all that lies ahead.
During my time here, I have tried to share what I believe to be true: that faith is itself a journey, not a destination. That God is with us, no matter where we think we might be. The book of Deuteronomy informs us that we are to love the Lord Our God with all our minds, our hearts, and with our strength: Thinking, Knowing, Doing. That is the adventure of faith.
My prayer for each of you is that your faith journeys will continue, as I am sure they will. Know that you will remain ever in my prayers and in my heart.
The Thankful tree; the Threshing machine; emailed requests to “Chapel FM”; Junior School dance moves to “Shine, Jesus Shine”; Confirmation classes in “The Chill Space”; Christmas Morning Communion; the exploding sound system (!); the amazing Y11 Chapel volunteers; the dulcet tones of the Senior Prefects recording their own version of “Last Christmas”… So much to treasure and to be thankful for!
With love and thanks, Revd A Timmis, Warwick School Chaplain