Meet the Vicar
Hello and thank you for visiting our website.
My name is Mark Adams and I am the Vicar of the Beck & Trent Parishes.
I have been here since July 2016 and am enjoying life in the countryside after spending nearly nine years being a Vicar in Mansfield. It is great being part of these communities and I hope that our churches will continue to be a vibrant part of them for many years to come.
If you would like to find out more about what is going on in our churches, if you have questions about the Christian faith or would just like to chat then please get in touch. You can find my details below or if you see me walking around just say hello!
My Latest Newsletter Article
As I am currently working for the wider Diocese as well as in the Beck & Trent parishes at the moment, I’m part of the Diocesan Office Facebook group. Like many groups at the moment, it’s not for working – more a bit of fun to help people stay connected during these strange times. Early on, people were posting pictures of their home-working desks and one particularly caught my eye – it had a diary on it with a bold front cover – ‘2020 So Here’s The Plan’.
“How is that working out for you?” – I cheekily asked in the comments section. “Not what I’d planned” was the response (with a suitable number of emoji’s included!)
I’m sure that this is a feeling we can all relate to! As we all wished one another a Happy New Year just a few weeks ago, we probably missed the news that a new virus had been reported in China just the previous day. We’ve certainly all heard about it now.
This is an unprecedented situation, though we are not the first generation to go through plagues and natural disasters, it is the first time it has happened within living memory. When things get really bad, we sometimes refer to them as being of “biblical” proportions – but how did they deal with it?
The book in the Bible that perhaps draws these thoughts together more than any other is its hymnbook, the Psalms; especially in the Psalms of lament. Tom Wright puts it like this:
“Be gracious to me, Lord,” prays the sixth Psalm, “for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.” “Why do you stand far off, O Lord?” asks the 10th Psalm plaintively. “Why do you hide yourself in time of trouble?” And so it goes on: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?” (Psalm 13). And, all the more terrifying because Jesus himself quoted it in his agony on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22).
The point of lament, woven thus into the fabric of the biblical tradition, is not just that it’s an outlet for our frustration, sorrow, loneliness and sheer inability to understand what is happening or why. The mystery of the biblical story is that God also laments. Some Christians like to think of God as above all that, knowing everything, in charge of everything, calm and unaffected by the troubles in his world. That’s not the picture we get in the Bible.
How we will emerge from this crisis remains to be seen. There will be a time to look to the future with hope and to make our plans once again. Many of the Psalms, and the rest of the Bible, would want to affirm that. But maybe that future will be placed on firmer foundations if we can learn to lament the pain of the present and don’t try and rush there too soon.