Greetings! My name is Mark Hayton, and as you may know I have recently been appointed to become the next vicar of Fleet. My wife Pamela and I are very much looking forward to coming to be amongst you in September, to getting to know you, and to working with you in the Lord’s Service.
At Present we are tying up loose ends here in Folkestone, where I serve as Vicar of a benefice of three parishes, and as Area Dean; and where Pamela currently works as Benefice administrator. So as you might imagine, there is a lot for us to do as we prepare to hand over to our eventual successors!
You may also have heard that we currently have living with us our daughter, Madeleine, her husband Rob, and their two boys Joshua and Isaac. They will all be moving with us, and Joshua will be starting school in September, so as you can see, we are all looking forward to exciting new beginnings.
I know this will be a new beginning for the Parish too – and I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am, though I realise that new beginnings can sometimes be a little scary!
I have been in parish ministry for 26 years in a variety of different parishes and situations, but every parish is different and so is every vicar. I will be different from those who have faithfully served you in the past, and you will be different from the people I have served amongst. I look forward to getting to know you all, to hearing about your hopes and dreams, and to praying with you and listening with you as together we find out what God is up to in Fleet and attend to all wants us to do in his service.
One thing we can all rely upon is that God never changes! He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The times we live in may change, our lives may be full of beginnings and endings, but through it all, God in Jesus remains faithful. He knows what he is about, he has a vision for us all, and we can sure that whatever it is, it will draw us ever closer to him and be a blessing both to us and to the people amongst whom we live.
I am thankful that God is bringing me to Fleet, and I look forward to all that he has in store for us. I would value your continued prayers for my family, for the parishes I am leaving, and for Andreas, Jennifer and the family as they follow the new path that God has laid out before them. Meanwhile we will be praying for you all, and particularly for all those in the life of the parish who have been working so hard during the interregnum to ensure that the parish continues to flourish.
I look forward to praying with you in person in a few weeks’ time, and to all that lies in store for us all.
May God bless you all,