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October 2022 - An update From Your Benefice Priest

Dear All,

Before I start my Ramblings from the Rectory, may I be indulgent just for a few lines to offer my heartfelt thanks for the ministry team and churchwardens who are the most supportive and hardworking team that I am privileged to work alongside. At the time of writing, we have just passed our first weekend since Queen Elizabeth died. In a matter of hours, we were able to have prayer stations set out, hold a commemorative service of Evening Prayer in each of the three churches, rework all that had been planned for Sunday worship and it was done with kindness, care and support. I am extremely proud of everyone’s hard work and just needed to let it be known. So, thank you team – you are a blessing to us all.

Now, to my Ramblings - although you may have thought the previous paragraph was already one!

Our grass has been cut! I am looking out of the study window and seeing the stripes going up and over the front lawn where Nic has given the grass a much-needed haircut and it is looking very fresh and pleased with itself. The green colour is almost completely back. It looks great. It might be easier to play croquet on now, although our front lawn has so many bumps and knots in it, you can never be sure that the ball will go in the direction it is hit - or at least that is my excuse when I miss the target!

And in the kitchen garden, we have a plethora of cherry tomatoes that have completely taken us by surprise. Nic planted them in a patch of soil against the garage wall and thought they might be okay. He regularly watered them but we didn’t see much growth at first. But he persisted and his patience has paid off. We have been astonished as they have just grown wonderfully and the fruit that is growing from them is so tasty.

This growth reminds me of what it is like to build new relationships and new friendships. We start off not knowing each other, not sure what the other is like, but, if we invest time in each other, we can see friendships blossom and bear fruit. A new support network is made, a new person to laugh and to cry with, someone who will listen and will let us be who we are.

The growing tomatoes reminds me of the new friendships Nic and I have made since we moved here in April. At first it was all very new and unknown. What would it be like here? Will we feel at home? Will we have friends to spend time with? The answer very quickly was yes. We definitely feel at home and are making friends. We can see, very clearly, that the villages know how to care and support each other.

This caring reminds me of Jesus’ commandment to love one another, to love our neighbours. He encouraged us to love others, to look out for those on the margins and who were in need, either in body, mind or spirit.

Our late Queen did the same and showed, in the way she lived and worked, that loving others was part of her service to God. She expressed her faith in her words and actions and became bolder in her Christmas messages about what it meant to her to follow Christ’s teachings. The same sense of loving duty has been instilled in her son, our new monarch, King Charles III and we will watch as he grows into his new role.

Good growth, whether in the garden, in friendships or in the love and service of others that we show, cannot happen unless we tend and care for what is important to us.

My prayer this month is that you might know what is needed for growth in your life and relationships and to remember that caring for yourself is just as important too.


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