Heartfelt Thanks

Good evening lovely people,

I wanted to thank you all for the way you supported, encouraged and took part in the Lent Walks with me. I rather naively thought that you might wave me off, would hopefully greet me when I arrived, but that I would be walking alone. That couldn’t have been further from the truth! I had company for every walk – sometimes too many people to talk to everyone properly! For most of the walks I really didn’t have a clue which of the routes would be best, but I had help with those, and some experienced walkers to give me all the guidance I needed. Thank you to you all, whatever you did, you were amazing. Every single church greeted me like an old friend, and I was really overwhelmed with your kindness and all the energy and time that you all offered along the way. Thank you so much.

What did I learn? Well I discovered that our communities are linked by a series of tiny lanes that make so much more sense than the more main routes. I learnt that whether it’s raining or bright, the countryside is beautiful. I found out that walking is a great way to get to know people. I realised that despite my lack of self belief, I can actually walk for miles!

I have always loved rural ministry, it has been about the people and the communities – there is beauty in the small, the hidden, and the intimate. Now I love the scenery, the rolling hills, the sense of space, the height and depth, and the amazing way that for being just a few miles outside a village or town we can be in peace and tranquillity. The interconnectedness is of course about people, but it’s also about hedgerows, lanes, flowing water, and a sense of shared understanding. 

Care of God’s acres is a huge responsibility. The spiritual care of those who care for God’s acres is equally huge, and I am so pleased to be able to be part of the team offering this care. On my walks I saw God at work in every field, every cloud, every animal, every person. How lucky we are to be surrounded by such beauty. I am not blind to the challenges, or the hidden difficulties, but I do trust God that he wants his church to continue to grow in Monmouthshire, and we are all part of that good news.

I’m sure there will be lots of things that have yet to surface that will excite me and help with my ministry, but for now, I make this prayer below my own. If you would like to pray it too then please do (it is from the URC).

With my love and gratitude for you all, Sally xxx

God of field and mountain 

we hold before you the rural communities of this land.

We pray for congregations and people witnessing to the Good News

in villages, hamlets, and in isolated farms and homesteads.

We pray for those who live in rural areas, and for all who serve our churches.

God of valley and stream

we hold before you the work of the countryside:

farmers, labourers, those who make and maintain equipment,

auctioneers, veterinary surgeons, cleaners, publicans, teachers,

doctors, nurses, bus drivers, rangers, foresters,

all their families, and so many others.

God of forest and moor

we hold before you those who visit our countryside, and those who live and work there.

May each person ‘see beyond the view’ both to stand in solidarity with rural issues,

and to discover you and your purpose for their lives, more fully.

In the name of the One who retreated to the quiet places.


© The United Reformed Church

Please note that Friday is usually my rest day. Emails received on Friday may not be responded to until after the weekend. Thank you for your understanding.