“It was announced on Sunday morning (27 January) that Margot and Martin Hodson will be moving in the summer to West Oxfordshire to take up a new ministry. The Hodsons have been looking for a way to give more time to their environmental work while keeping their roots in local parish ministry. They will be moving to the Shill Valley and Broadshire Benefice, where Margot will be licensed as half-time Associate Minister in early September. Alongside this post she will be taking up the part-time (self-supporting) role of Theology and Education Director for the John Ray Initiative (JRI). There is more information about their move on their blog HERE.
It means that our parish and benefice will go into interregnum but there is good time to prepare for this. Margot and Martin will be praying for you for the vacancy period and for the appointment of a new rector for the benefice.
The Hodsons will be really grateful for your prayers as they prepare for the move and will be very sad to leave Wychert Vale. Margot will be taking services in different churches in the benefice through May and June and hopes to have the weekend of 29-30 June as her last official weekend in the benefice.”
Wychert Vale Benefice is a new network of churches serving a group of vibrant and growing villages between Thame and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Our leadership is team-based with many lay and ordained people working together.
Building together for Mission
When seeking a name for our benefice we found that our local building material, ‘Wychert’, is unique to the villages in our part of the Vale of Aylesbury. Taking the name Wychert Vale reminded us that, in our lives and mission together, we are building a dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:10-16). Follow the link here for a reflection on our name.
Our vision and values
Wychert Vale was formed by joining the Haddenham Benefice with Stone and Dinton with Hartwell. Wychert Vale became a new benefice on 1 March 2016 after many years of prayer, planning and getting to know each other. We held a service to celebrate our new benefice on Palm Sunday evening, 20 March 2016, where we formally signed a Covenant agreement. We have been enjoying doing more together in the last few years and continue to see great potential for growth as a larger benefice.
The Wychert Vale Covenant emerged from our discussions and prayer together. It sets out how we want to relate to each other and gives our vision and values:
We agreed four Covenant Principles for working together:
- To share resources of all kinds.
- To get to know one another and to work with, listen to, support and value one another.
- To determine to play our part gracefully in the improvement and strengthening of communications throughout the new benefice upwards, outwards and benefice-wide.
- To commit ourselves to ongoing prayer.
We discovered three emerging Covenant Purposes:
- Worshipping God
- Serving Community
- Sharing Life
These help us to focus our role as the Body of Christ in our villages and have become the ‘motto’ or ‘strap line’ of the new benefice.
Our merger prayer
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your Son Jesus Christ prayed on the night before he died that all may be one, just as he is one with you. We pray that you would grant us the unity that you intend as our six churches come together to form the new Benefice of Wychert Vale.
May we always seek to work well together, remembering that we are all parts of the one body of Christ and may our love and concern for one another increase and flow out to our communities that others may come to know you through us.
As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, may we be enabled to dissolve any barriers, and to forgive and be reconciled through the healing power of accepting and inspirational love.
We humbly ask all this in the name of your dear Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen