Letter from Fr.Adam

     Dear friends

I'm writing my first letter to you shortly after just having had my final service as curate at St Thomas', and having moved from a fairly traditional curate's house into the ultra-modern eco vicarage, and so this comes at a touch point of transition and change for me, the community at St Thomas' and for you.
For some, change is exciting and for others, not so much. But however, we experience change, and as we all contemplate a time of new beginnings, I want to begin my first letter by saying how very much I am looking forward to being with you, looking forward to being your priest, and, as you get to know me and I have earned your trust, I'm looking forward to being your friend.
I'm also looking forward to showing off the eco vicarage.
It really is a lovely, fun home that offers a blank canvas for each occupant to put their own mark on it fairly easily.
We now know that restrictions won't have been lifted ready for my licensing service and so it will be ticketed, meaning that we will only be allowed a small choir and the congregation will be unable to sing. Restrictions also mean that there won't be a reception afterwards and nor will there be one after my first Eucharist with you.
But the one thing I do know, whether we take part in the licensing service in person or on zoom, is that at these services we all commit ourselves to this new chapter in building up the kingdom of God in the areas we minister to together.
I hold a deep theology of the communion of saints, where every generation stands on the shoulders of the faithful who came before us, and their shoulders sustain us and allow us to grow as disciples so that in time a new generation of followers can stand on our shoulders.
I am excited about our journey together and that being open to the power of the Holy Spirit we can build up a new generation of followers of God in this place with each one of us taking our place in the communion of saints.
My prayer is that each one of us will find this a time of renewal and excitement as we journey forward.

We are currently in the part of the church year called 'ordinary time' which I always feel undervalues what this time of year offers us and in a time of new beginnings we will enter into a new chapter together that will be far from ordinary.
I ask for your prayers for me in this new chapter of my life and ministry, as I will hold each of you in prayer as we discem together God's will for Kingswinford and Wall Heath in the years ahead.

I've also been asked to include a bit about myself in this first letter so this next section is a bit of the old red book. (I'm nearly 40 and I wonder how many will pick up on this cultural reference! ).
I'm a black country boy from Oldbury where there have been Hadley's for hundreds of years and Hadley's shop stood proudly on the High Street there for many generations.
I went to local schools before getting into sixth form at King Edward's in Stourbridge following which I read history at the University of York before moving onto Essex University to complete a MA in Human Rights.
I had a very enjoyable career in local government, working with councillors, and starting off as a committee clerk.
I did the rounds of local councils having worked at Sandwell MBC twice, the West Midlands Police Authority, Solihull MBC, before finishing that part of my life as a head of service at Wolverhampton City Council where I was responsible for corporate governance.
I'm still involved in local government as the Independent Person for Standards in Public Life for Dudley Council.

I'm very much an extrovert and love nothing more than to chat and I enjoy going to restaurants and can't wait to sample all that Wall Heath and Kingswinford have to offer restaurant-wise!

I said at my interview that I would spend part of my first six months getting to know you and hearing your stories and for you to hear mine, and so, if you would like to catch up at some point soon, then drop me an email or a phone call and we can arrange a time.
I also really want to hear all of your ideas for the future of the churches in Kingswinford and Wall Heath and what we can do to proclaim the Gospel of love, forgiveness and inclusivity now and in the years to come.

We may well still be living in a time of uncertainty but with God by our side, carrying us and sustaining us, we can still grow in discipleship and build the kingdom of God here in this part of his vineyard, making a difference in his wonderful and beautiful creation.

With my best wishes,
Fr Adam