Quite a number of us (myself included) were in All Saints for the Institution and Induction of James Clarke as vicar of Lindfield.
Lindsay Urwin, the then Bishop of Horsham, led the service, and instituted James, asking him if he would perform a number of duties as vicar. After the description of each duty, the bishop asked James if he would "do these things gladly and willingly". Many, many people will be able to testify to the way in which James has indeed performed his duties both gladly and willingly over the 20 years since that day.
He is a care-full man. He is also a prayer-full man. In answer to the bishop's questions, James replied, "I will do so, the Lord being my helper". The Lord has indeed been his helper, and honoured James' desire to follow Jesus and bring others to know and love him more. James has taken everything - the joys and the sorrows of his role - to God in prayer, so on this 20th anniversary of his induction, let us join together in prayers of thanks to God for our vicar, friend and brother. Let's also give thanks for the unstinting support of James' wife, Chris, over these years, and for sharing him with us, freeing him to serve us gladly, willingly and prayerfully.