The Upper Meon Benefice
In the Pew News email for 17th May I was talking about a number of events that should have been happening. One of them was the licensing of the Rev’d Mary Jepp. We should have been having a joint service at 10.30am in West Meon but this has had to be put on hold. Mary, along with her husband Mike and their two dogs are currently living in Kilmarnock and even though restrictions are beginning to be lifted slightly here we still can’t gather together and the Jepps can’t move from Scotland! Unfortunately, we can’t zoom this service and we will have to wait for a time when we can be together physically.
We are one step closer to becoming the Upper Meon Benefice though. On the 21st January Bishop Christopher signed a Pastoral Order that came into effect on 1st February extending my licence to include West Meon and Warnford. This means that I now carry legal responsibility for all four parishes and am officially Rector of East Meon, Langrish, West Meon and Warnford. On the ground you will notice very little difference because this doesn’t mean becoming one big parish: all four churches will continue to have services; my main responsibility will continue to be East Meon and Langrish, Mary’s will be West Meon and Warnford and we will continue to celebrate the unique contribution that each church makes to its community.
When Mary is licensed it will be as associate rector for East Meon, Langrish, West Meon and Warnford. We were meant to begin using our new name, ‘The Upper Meon Benefice’, at Mary’s licensing but you might see it start to slip in before then. As we look forward to this next stage of our lives together, please do continue to pray for our communities:
God of endings and beginnings,
we give you thanks for the life of our churches and
the faithful worshippers and ministers
who have served you and the people of our communities over many years.
Guided by your spirit of wisdom and courage
help us to take this work forward in new and exciting ways
that we might all be encouraged to
Live clearly as your disciples,
Pray that many more people would come to know you and your love
and Serve the world around us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
With best wishes, Rev’d Jane Ball