Change is in the air...
Let me introduce myself. My name is David Brooke, and my catchy title is Change Rector for the Billingham Team Parish. I took up the post on 18th January 2023, and my feet haven't touched the ground since, so if you caught sight of me somewhere, I may have been little more than a blur.
But I chose my words carefully there. I didn't 'start' in the parish on 18th January 2023 - in a sense I started here back in September 2004 when I became Rector of Wolviston, along with the other villages around the north of Stockton. I was also for a time the Priest in Charge of St Mary Magdalene, and I led the process that brought the Billingham Team Parish into being. My wife and I have also lived in Billingham since 2015, so one way or another we're pretty invested in the place. We believe in the Billingham Team Parish, and the town is our home, not just where we work.
And now I'm back, in a very different role, and it takes a bit of explaining.
Like many parishes, this one has experienced some ups and downs over the last few years, and the time had come to take a fresh look at things. We could focus on the challenges - finances, buildings, and the changing culture. But we'd rather focus on the positives - what is God asking of us today, in 2023. My task over the next three years is to help us focus on that question, dealing with the challenges where they are getting in the way of answering God's call.
We want to serve the town, and God, more effectively, more vibrantly, and more joyfully.
Over these last 12 weeks we've been beavering away, and yes, change is in the air. Soon we hope you'll begin to sense it too, and I'll be writing about that in future blog posts. For now, all I want to say is "It's good to be back!"