Rev Richard Magrath was licensed on 8 March at St Mary's, Botus Fleming - the service can be watched on YouTube: youtu.be/-bd7pHHttyM and the service sheet can be download here: saltashteamministry.org/assets/docs/Saltash-Licensing-Service.pdf.
It is very exciting to be called to join you in Saltash, Landrake, St Erney and Botus Fleming as your new parish priest. I have never before spent Christmas so much looking forward to Lent!
It was wonderful visiting the parishes last October and having a chance to meet some of you. I was struck by all the enthusiasm: for your communities, for working with schools, for your beautiful buildings, for all the different sides of God’s mission in this place, in our time.
A bit about myself: I grew up in Warrington in north-west England. I read English at university, and it was there I became a Christian, after reading the ‘Confessions’ of St Augustine. Afterwards I worked in internet advertising, probate and finance law, and for churches in London and the West Midlands. While training for ministry I met, and married, Kayleigh. Since then we have acquired two cats (Marlowe and Shakespeare) and a baby (Elowen) born in July 2021 during our time in London.
Cornish living, then, is new to me – but not for Kayleigh, who grew up near Saltash and attended Devonport High School for Girls. (Kayleigh will be continuing her own training for ministry at college in Plymouth.) We are all very much looking forward to joining you.
I should also take this opportunity to thank the ministry team and everyone who has worked so hard to keep ministry and worship, pastoral care and local outreach going for the past 18 months.
And what an 18 months it has been: I could hardly avoid mentioning Covid, even if, God willing, it appears some sort of end may be in sight.
Perhaps it is fitting that this new ministry should start at the beginning of Lent. Lent is the time of ‘bright sadness’ when we might have good reason to be sad, and Lent doesn’t tell us to cheer up, but just shines on us with its clear, quiet light. Lent means ‘springtime’, when the earth itself calls our attention to a hidden freshness deep down in things. And Lent is, of course, the forty days and forty nights when we ‘awhile from joys abstain’, focusing on our Lord and master Jesus Christ, his life and death and the way of the cross, which is the strange glory of God. I am excited to be sharing that journey with you.
Please pray for Kayleigh, Elowen and me as we prepare for the move, and for our new life, and for saying our goodbyes here very soon. And please pray also, as St Paul says, for a door to be opened for the gospel – for I suspect everyone nowadays needs to hear a word of good news more than ever.
Yours in Christ,