Be on the lookout for the new Vicar

Reverend James Hanson.

Rev James Hanson, Vicar, Burpham Church

Sometimes, there are things in life that are really hard to spot. I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights one day, being willing to travel to the Arctic circle to have a better shot.

I was blown away last month when the lights visited us as far south as Sussex, where we used to live. I loved this photo (above), as it not only fulfilled a child-hood dream, but pointed to the stunning heavens that surround us (and Burpham church logo colours too!). Lesser spotted it may be, but it was amazing to see, and a good reminder to be on the lookout.

As your new Vicar, I will be out and about walking this parish – praying and looking forward to meeting people – do keep a lookout and please do say hello. There is a big photo of me on the noticeboard outside St Luke’s church, if you get stuck.

I still find it very funny the TV caricatures of Vicars, and where you will find them. Most shows have them in the Church building, and people turn up to find them collecting hymn books or arranging chairs. Or, they find them in the police station solving murders for the local community. I can assure you, that you are more likely to find me anywhere and everywhere, and you can ask me anything – and I love to get stuck in, so please ask me to help. I love being out and about in the community, meeting people and chatting about anything and everything. Yes, I’ve been asked whether I only work one day a week. I’ve also been offered tea and cucumber sandwiches often, and yes, I’ve been involved in many murder mysteries – but only playing the role-play games, never real life.

When I was asked in the last census what my job was, I said: Minister of Religion. When they asked me further what the day to day looks like, I simply put: being a signpost to Jesus.

As we arrived in Burpham recently, we felt so richly welcomed by this community that we want to say thank you. It really is a brilliant place to live and to be.

Church Office: 01483 825533