Hello, my name is Reverend Anna Burr – or Reverend Anna, as I am known in the schools around here. I have been the incumbent of St Mary’s since April 2011. Before that I was the Curate at St Oswald’s in Fulford in York. I am married to Alister, who is also a Reader in St Mary’s and the other cburches locally, we have two grown up children, Myriam and Jonathan, and a cat.
St Mary’s is only one of the Churches in the Benefice, St Mary Birkin and St John the Baptist’s in Chapel Haddlesey are the other two but I currently also support St Mary’s in Carlton and St Peter and St Paul’s in Drax. Our Benefice is part of the so called Selby Hub, so from time to time clergy from Selby Abbey lead worship in our church and worship leaders from our church will lead or preach in the Abbey. We are also able to participate in activities we organise together – recently we have been on pilgrimages to Lincoln Cathedral and Bradford Cathedral and Saltaire. This year we are planning to visit Litchfield Cathedral, also on pilgrimage.
St Mary’s is a place that marks times of great significance in the lives of many in our community, sometimes those are times of great joy – such as baptisms and weddings and sometimes they are times when we are sad and come together to say goodbye to a loved one at their funeral. And it is important for many because of these moments. But church can also be a place of greater belonging and meaning. Church is also a place where we can meet with God each week, where we can find greater meaning for our lives, peace and hope, in a world that often seems hopeless.
The Christian faith is about a living relationship with a God who loves us more than we can ever really understand and in St Mary’s we are learning a little bit more each week about what this means in the reality of our everyday lives.