July/August 2019

Canon Stephen Fielding, who will be licensed as our new vicar in October, writes:

I am absolutely delighted to be coming as your new vicar in the autumn. For us, it is a return to Hertfordshire after periods at Coventry Cathedral, where I was canon treasurer, and St Mary Abbots Church in Kensington where I am currently an associate vicar. I was ordained in 2007, a curate in Old Welwyn, Tewin, Datchworth and Ayot St Peter, and then vicar of Braughing, Furneux Pelham and Stocking Pelham. From 1981 to 2005 we lived in or near Harpenden, so we know and love the area.

I am married to Angela, and we have four adult children, Lizzie who lives with her family in Hitchin, Edward and family in Much Hadham, Christopher in West London with his wife and daughter, and our youngest Philly intending to get married at All Saints’ in late November or early December.

Before ordination, I practised as a banking lawyer, and for the last 10 years of my ‘secular’ career was responsible for different parts of private bankers Coutts & Co. Alongside my work as a priest, I practise as a probate/inheritance mediator out of chambers in the Inner Temple. I have been doing this since 2003.

That is enough about me, perhaps too much! So let me say something about the coming months.

Summer always comes in the church’s long season of Trinity – (Trinity lasts about 6 months, in case you wondered). And Trinity tells of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Most of us will be unconcerned about how this is so – rather we ask: what does God do as Father? What does Jesus do as Son? And what does the Holy Spirit do as spirit? Well: God makes, Jesus redeems, and the Holy Spirit enables.

The great Christian poet George Herbert wrote the following poem for Trinity Sunday. You’ll notice that he gets this idea of God making, Jesus redeeming, and the Holy Spirit equipping.

Lord, who has made me out of mud,
And hast redeemed me through thy blood,
And sanctified me to do good;

Purge all my sins done heretofore:
For I confess my heavy score,
And I will strive to sin no more.

Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me,
With faith, with hope, with charity;
That I may run, rise, rest with thee

It’s all very practical – which is in the end (and from first to last) the whole meaning of Christianity. It’s about love working its transformative power in your life and mine.

We are greatly looking forward to moving into the vicarage at Whitwell and to getting to know as many of you as we can in the villages at the earliest opportunity. The date of my licensing is Monday October 28 at All Saints, and we hope to see lots of you there.

With every blessing