Walking the parishes as vicars join forces

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Have you ever wondered how vicars get out and about to visit the churches and parishioners they serve?

Whilst in years gone by vicars were often seen on bikes and on foot, these days sadly, it is usually by car.

However two of our local clergy are ditching the four wheels for two feet as they walk the new parishes shortly to become part of their pastoral duties.

On Friday 18 and Saturday October 19, Rev Alastair Ferneley (currently vicar of St Laurence’s and St Luke’s) and Rev Mike Leigh (vicar of St Mark’s) have decided to walk from church to church in the soon-to-be-formed “North Scarborough Group Ministry”.

The aim is to visit each of the churches in the new group to meet people within each community and have the chance to pray together, listening to God and discerning his plan for the new group.

The changes have come about since the retirement last Easter of Rev Liz Kitching who was the vicar of the Cloughton Cluster of parishes (Cloughton, Hackness, Harwood Dale, Ravenscar and Staintondale).

Following her retirement the Diocese decided that her post was not to be filled with another full time clergy person, but instead that group of parishes were to join with the parishes that Alastair and Mike already care for and form the new “North Scarborough Group Ministry”.

Mike and Alastair will together be responsible for all eight churches, but will be supported through the ministries of Peter Cross (Methodist minister responsible for the Local Ecumenical Partnership of Ravenscar and Staintondale), David Pynn who is linked to St Luke’s, but is also Rural Dean of Scarborough Deanery, Marion Wright (linked to St Laurence’s) and a number of other clergy who help to take services. Added to that are the invaluable ministries of Lay Readers: Margaret Arnall, Ros O’Tooe, Alan Mackie, Ian Popely and Philip Newell and a Recognised Parish Assistant (RPA) Kathleen Hugill, who all help to lead services as well as support the churches in many ways.

With all this in mind Alastair and Mike decided that a walk across the parishes would be an excellent way to visit each of the churches and to show they are working - and walking - together for the kingdom of God where Christ has called them to serve.

Here are some details of the walk. On Friday October 18: Beginning at 9am at St Luke’s, Stepney Rd, with a short service of Holy Communion, walking first to St Mark’s, Newby (10:15am*), then St Mary’s, Cloughton (noon), via the Hayburn Wyke pub, finishing at St Hilda’s, Ravenscar with prayers at 4pm.

On Saturday October 19: Beginning with prayers at St John’s, Staintondale at 9am, walking on to St Margaret’s, Harwood Dale, via the old St Margaret’s (noon), St Peter’s, Hackness (2pm) and finishing at St Laurence’s, Scalby (4pm).

(*Please note: times stated are approximate arrival times in each church - dependant on the speed of walkers!)

All are invited to join the two intrepid pilgrims en-route for any or all of the walk. If walking is not possible, the invitation is to join them at the churches where they will stop for a time of prayer, chat and hopefully some refreshment.