From the Rectory
March 2006

When Lys and I moved to Freemantle, at the beginning of December, the days were long and dark, the surroundings unfamiliar and almost all of you unknown to us. Gradually the days are beginning to lengthen, we are remembering your names, (well some of them) and we now know how to get from A to B without getting lost in the back streets. When we lived in Andover, there was a huge variety of wildlife on our doorstep, sheep, thousands of them, pheasants, one got into the Church and surprised me at Morning Prayer. There were bats in the garden and birdsong that prevented sleep.

Freemantle, I thought, would be less populous wildlife-wise. However I was wrong. We have five squirrels in the garden, pigeons - a mixed blessing, blue tits, robins, blackbirds and I believe possibly, a fox. Nature is gradually revealing itself to us. By the way our cat, named Kitty, what else, is somewhat overawed by all of this activity, and on her patch of turf.

We arrived in mid-winter, the long dark days covering up so much, and because I had yet to be licensed we lived in a state of almost hibernation. But the light of the growing days is gently illuminating all that co-exists around us.

As well as the wildlife, the garden has a few surprises up its sleeve as well. I have discovered, that lurking beneath the topsoil, just a few inches down there is enough builders rubble to fill a skip, and whilst digging recently I uncovered a whole area of solid concrete! This did not stop my progress in re-ordering the rectory garden, it has only delayed it. Despite this, bulbs and spring shoots abound. You obviously only need a small amount of encouragement for the plants to flourish here. Spring is just around the comer and the garden is offering a glimpse of what might be on the way.

I have inherited some nice plants and I shall be adding some of my own. The hope is that the one will complement the other and gradually grow into an harmonious whole. It's a bit like being your new priest really. Lots of good stuff on the shelf for me to make good use of and one or two new ideas that I have that will hopefully complement what is already established. One day. we will know all of your names on sight. Then we shall have grown into the body of Christ, live in harmony and reveal the wholeness of God's love at work in the Garden of His delight here in Freemantle.