From the Rectory
June 2010

As I write this article for the June magazine I learn that snow has fallen in Newcastle! What strange times we live in. I will shortly be taking my summer holiday. This year because of Global Warming or should I say Global Cooling, Lys and I will be venturing overseas, provided volcanic ash doesn’t impede our departure. As I said, what strange times we live in. A day on the beach at Hayling Island would be much simpler.

The season of Easter has now passed with all of its Alleluias and rejoicing. We have also celebrated Ascension Day, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. So we begin the long period of Ordinary Time, no more major festivals until Harvest; although every Sunday is a cause for rejoicing.

Easter being a movable feast, comes at different times. Pentecost arrives at a set time after Easter, and Trinity a week later. There are quite a few holidays at this time of year. The Whitsun weekend used to be an official holiday weekend in Britain until very recently - but we now have the Spring Bank Holiday weekend instead, which sometimes coincides with Whitsun and sometimes doesn’t. However, as ‘Spring Bank Holiday’ sounds rather bureaucratic and formal, many people still refer to it as the ‘Whitsun weekend’ even when it isn’t. This makes for confusion. I cannot see why the deliberate secularising of our public holidays has been foisted upon us, and I wish that we could go back to how it used to be, for many, many years. It always ensured that we got a holiday nicely spaced after Easter, instead of the jumble of holidays in a row which is what we get now. The old system was well grounded in history, and was designed to fit in with established cultural patterns and not bureaucratic whims. (The May Day holiday, incidentally, adds further to the confusion.) I’d like to see the powers that be tamper with the dates for Divali or Ramadan! Rectory rantings over, I hope that you all enjoy some time this summer to relax and enjoy the weather!

Yours for Christ's sake.