Canon Henry

 

After 12½ amazing and blessed years in the parish, my time in Ardess is drawing to a close.  We came as a family of six (with 4 smallish boys) to Ardess in 2006; however, we really leave Ardess being just two (myself and Helen), our sons have all grown up, left school and joined the world of work.  You will see from the photograph of 2006 compared to that of 2011 and 2018, that there has been quite a difference in the physical appearance of my family (and its growth!), but the natural growth that is to be expected in life means girlfriends and wives now stand beside the boys.  Not only have I been reflecting on the change within my own family but that of the Ardess parishioners’ families who I have been blessed to minister to throughout the years. 

 

As these memories come back, I am reminded that not only do we physically change (in the dynamics of our family life (and our looks!)) but spiritually we change.  It has been amazing to see people come to the realisation of the need for a personal relationship with God and to see them really living for God.  I pray that they will continue their walk with Him and extend God’s kingdom.  God is faithful and we give Him the glory for these blessings!  

 

However, it is painful to see those who have slid away from their relationship with God.  Those who have lost their connection with Him and have went with the flow for the ‘easy option’ to live in the world where anything goes.  Living in the world but not being part of the world can sometimes make the life of a Christian difficult as the world’s view is not God’s view.  Take a moment now (perhaps reading the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13)) and look back at your own spiritual journey - are you walking more closely with God now than you were 12 years ago, or have you grown closer for a time and then grown away again? 

 

People will look back over the last 12 years to see the practical things that have been achieved within Ardess which have been significant (and I pray that the church will now be set up for many years with regular ongoing maintenance).  The practical things are a necessity and we get on and do them but what makes the last 12 years worthwhile for myself, as a minister, is the difference that has been made for the kingdom of God - the differences that we see in the people, the family of the church.  If I have encouraged one person to go deeper in their faith and draw closer to God my ministry at Ardess has been a success.  As Paul said to see someone ‘running the race’ of life for God, makes it all worthwhile and the spiritual fruit will only be truly visible when we are in heaven.

 

Photo 1:  2006, Canon Henry & family when they joined Ardess Parish Church 

 

  

 

Photo 2:  Photograph 2: 2011 Canon Henry, wife Helen & sons with Bishop Michael Jackson at Service of Institution

 

 

Photo 3:  2018

Back Row:  Canon Henry Blair and his sons Rodney, Keith, Nathan & Jason

Front Row:  Helen Blair, Judith Blair, Anna Millar, Hannah Mullan, Sarah McAlpine