I have a mixed relationship with Septembers. They have been markers in time that remind me that summer is ending. I quite like summer, though I prefer spring, and frankly loathe winter when that calm of school holidays is again over. Equally, as a priest, September has been my ‘new year’ for a long time when I return to the desk and altar, refreshed and inspired.

This September will be different once again for it will be the time when I start afresh among you, having moved from a ministry that has been a blessing for over decade. I am excited, nervous, optimistic and apprehensive, to name but a few feelings, and with a new vicar in town maybe you will share some of these sentiments; it’s okay!

Scripture, the cycle of the church year, our liturgies and the world at large teaches us that we live in a seasonal order of things. Agricultural metaphors are plentiful in our Sunday readings, yet as Christians we often fear change. When an excellent, long-standing vicar vanishes and the prospect of a new one looms, the idea of ‘change’ rises once again to the surface.

We are reminded of the words of the One sitting on the Throne: behold I make all things new (Rev 21. 5). God challenges us to daily newness and seasonal change. Having disrespected winter, I am reminded of how much I adore those clear crisp mornings walking the dog on our local heath. Having waxed lyrical about spring, I am reminded also of how much I dislike cleaning tree sap (daily) off my car. Seasons are a ritual blessing – they come, they go and they are different. We are called to be the labourers of the harvest, so a sense of season is vital, and very soon, we will till the ground together. September also brings large brown spiders, but we won’t talk about that.

David Cloake