From the Rectory
July 2007

There has been much celebration at the Rectory this June. My son Andrew was married to Rachel on Wednesday 20th June. Andrew and Rachel live in Pulborough, West Sussex abd were married at Christ Church, freemantle, by Archbishop's Special Licence. I have had the wonderful privilege of officiating at both of my children's weddings; Sadie and Peter were married eight years ago, on the 19th June, so we had a double celebration.

Shortly before, on Sunday 10th June, Peter and Susan Greenland renewed their marriage vows during Parish Communion in celebration of their 30th Wedding Anniversary. A wonderful thing to do and an inspiration for those newly setting out in married life. We wish them all God's blessing and much joy.

We hear so much today about relationships that break down or marriages that fail. It makes a refreshing change to know of those that succeed and mature. Lys and I will celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversary on the 10th July - I'll be at a PCC meeting that evening!

Summer is here and it's holiday time for many. A chance to relax and enjoy time off. To reflect and enjoy hobbies that have been kept waiting until the space appeared, a chance to share quality time with family and friends without the pressures that most days hold. Cream teas, ice creams, swimming in the sea and perhaps a glass of real ale if I'm lucky. Holidays have their roots in 'Holy Days'. I hope that you all have the opportunity this summer to enjoy your Holy Days and to return refreshed and ready to enjoy life back here in Southampton - if you are lucky, like me, in Freemantle by the sea.

Some days when I sit in my back garden I can smell the sea and hear the seagulls calling - who needs to go away when it's all so close at hand?

Perhap's you've spotted one of the following top seven signs that your vicar needed a holiday.

7. You caught him snoring during the prayers.
6. The last ten sermons had the word 'rest' in them.
5. The final hymn for the past three Sundays has been 'There is a place of quiet rest'.
4. At the last service he came wearing Bermuda shorts and an Hawaiian shirt.
3. Before the last PCC meeting holiday brochures were handed out.
2. His wife has posted notices asking: 'Have you seen this man?'

And the number one sign.
1. The theme for last Sunday's sermon was a change of scenery does you good!

Yours for Christ's sake.