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Dear Friends

It is with great sadness that we say  'Good bye and God Bless' in more than one context this month. In all of our 'Goodbyes' there is sadness and loss, but also 'Thank you', to people and to God. Sometimes that 'Thank You' is the biggest part, as the loss isn't total or permanent, other times there is a lot more pain at something gone forever in this world's terms, and we have to work harder at the thanksgiving, which is in fact even more important for being harder to hold on to.

This is a transition time when our young people prepare to finish one school year, moving on to the next in September. For some this is just another class, for others a change of school, and sadly at Rathmell, the 'Goodbye' is also 'Goodbye' to the school itself which closes this year. There is and will be much sadness as we give thanks for all that has been.

Last month saw our transition session for all local Y6 primary children take place in Settle, with 90 young people from our surrounding schools thinking about Peter's transition from fisherman to disciple to Apostle as they prepared for the move from primary to secondary education. There is a big THANK YOU to the adult helpers, especially Catie Jones who has coordinated the volunteer side of that for several years now, as we continue to pray for that cohort of children at this time. 

Our parishes and Deanery too are in transition. Ian Greenhalgh retires at the end  of this month, and Stephen Dawson is Acting Area Dean for the newly combined Bowland and Ewecross Deanery, as our Deanery looks to contribute to the Vision 2030 in how our area clergy will be organised. 

We are also saying 'Goodbye' to Ali, Kai and Noah, as they move to a new home and community, and leave St Alkelda where they have contributed so much. We are especially thankful for Ali's contribution to the young peoples' mission and ministry. May God bless the whole family in their new circumstances, and us as we move forward without them.

Love and many blessings on all as we work with change, resting on the eternal changelessness of our great God, made known in Jesus who lived through all that life throws at humanity, who shows us our way home.    

Hilary

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Reflections on June - There is a great deal to be thankful for in the past month's activities, with many wonderful Kingdom experiences in our worship and beyond.  Pentecost celebrations seem a long time ago now, but were moving and inspiring occasions in all our churches in their different styles, with the VoC evensong at St Alkelda’s a special event in our calendar.  Trinity Sunday shared service and refreshments following was a special occasion, with a collaborative project for Settle Lady Chapel hatched as people chatted afterwards, more on that elsewhere.

The Voices of Craven festival was a great success, developing under the auspices of Jane Rice-Bowen who has supported the organisation and communications and acquired an Arts Council grant this second time round. It seems likely that the event is now firmly established as an initiative which will continue to grow and develop. A simultaneous evensong across several Deanery Anglican churches was an exciting addition this year under the theme of Unity through Music.

Messy Church picnic was blessed with glorious weather and saw Father Stephen demonstrating his dam building skills at Keasden, enabling water-based fun.

Celebrations at Rathmell took place at the beginning of the month for the restoration work on the roof etc and at the end of the month the morning Communion service celebrated the Geldard memorial outside Rathmell church, renovated by descendants, the Weston family, in memory of Mary. 

Living Stones feedback began with reception of the report by a group of interested folk meeting with Sue Booth, diocesan officer for buildings and mission. For all of this, and much more Thanks be to God.

Diocesan Synod - The budget for 2018 was presented, underlining the challenges faced across the whole Diocese in making ends meet.  A strategy for Stewardship of Creation was approved, all parishes are encouraged to identify a champion to help work towards making aspirations a reality in the way our churches work and interact with the communities they serve.

Last Big Breakfast - John and Edith Diggles, with a few trusty helpers, have provided monthly Settle Big Breakfasts with speaker, for all the time I have been in Settle and at least as long again before that. As they have called 'time', I give thanks for all I have learned and the people I have met through that activity. As Churches Together we need to think and pray around how that linking of churches with one another and with the community can be continued and grown. Thank you John and Edith.