David was a very different leader to Ron Hargreaves, being much less of a
charismatic type of personality, but his ministry was to take the church forward
in a number of important ways.
1975-1985: David Boyes - a time of consolidation and adjustment
During his time here he had to face a large number of frustrating problems.
However, in spite of such struggles, David faithfully persevered and so left
much fruit from a ministry that was deeply appreciated by many people.
What perhaps he gave above all was a deep pastoral care, particularly to the
many wounded people in the congregation, and so he built into the life of the
church an ability to love people in all their human fragility, and an ability to
cope with great upsets and hurts.
He worked hard too to develop a growing sense of being a Christian
and he continued the process of moving the church forward into more modern
patterns of worship, with a fuller recognition of the role of lay people in
This was, however, a period when church-going was in
general decline, aggravated here because a number of key people in St Barnabas
moved away during this period. Certainly the numbers attending services dropped
during Davidís first years to something closer to the numbers we have today.
There were also problems within the congregation which David worked at
tackling, but which he also at times found very dispiriting - for example, in
the November 1981 LINK magazine he wrote of the sickness of individualism and
the need to be more united in thought and action, but "the discipline of
obedience necessary for such action has proved too costly for many and as a
result we limp forward only slowly. ... Despair threatens to defeat me - but
that would be disastrous."
In 1979, the PCC discussed the possibility of women helping to administer
communion, but it was felt this would be "controversial". It was only
accepted in 1981, and even in 1983 some people were said to be opposed. Today it
seems so normal that it is hard to imagine why it should have been such an issue
only a few years ago.
On Easter Day, 1985, David Boyes left to become Vicar of Earl Soham and two
other villages. He said "Iíve seen St Barnabas become more trusting, more
free and flexible and more ready to accept responsibility for the work God has
called us to do." But he also spoke of the problem of those who held back
from involvement with the church or with God.
A long interregnum then followed until George Day's arrival in March 1986.
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