July 2014

A Letter from your Lay Reader

Dear Friends,

Many congratulations to you all for having survived the first six months of the interregnum. In fact survived is almost certainly the wrong word. We have done a great deal more than survive, we have really moved forward and there is a very positive feel to our worship and attendance at services has at least remained static, if not increased. The Music and Arts festival was a great success not only from an artistic point of view and as a means of fundraising for charity, but also from an outreach point of view, bringing people into our beautiful church who had never been here before. Congratulations and thanks are due to Craig for all his hard work and organisation.

Many thanks to Eileen and Terry for their hard work in leading our worship and celebrating the Eucharist. What would we do without them? Thanks also to Gwen and Tony, our church wardens who are doing a wonderful job in keeping everything running so smoothly. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this letter there is still no news about a replacement for Brian. It is largely a case of waiting patiently, and hopefully the Bishop will wave his magic wand and find someone for us. Meanwhile, please continue to pray that the right person to lead our parish may be found as soon as possible.

We are now getting into that time of year when we are thinking about our summer holidays. Many of us lead very busy live, and there often seem to be insufficient hours in the day to attend to our family and business commitments, let alone our spiritual lives, so it is important for us all that we can get a couple of weeks or so away from the routine of our normal daily lives, recharge out batteries and relax. This is what holidays should be about!

The word "holiday" is of course a corruption of the words "Holy Day". What we now know as holidays, came about because people were traditionally allowed time off work to celebrate many of the Church's great festivals and Saints days. So, perhaps we could use our holidays as an opportunity for spiritual as well as physical renewal. We could perhaps find time to take a look at our spiritual lives, perhaps find a little more time to spend in prayer and Bible reading, seeking real spiritual renewal. Holidays are also good times for exploring and trying out different experiences, which may broaden our outlooks and help us to see aspects of life from a different perspective. Visiting ancient churches and cathedrals and other places of worship, even places of non Christian worship, can be most inspiring.

Whatever holidays you are planning or have already planned, please remember the need for spiritual as well as physical renewal, praying that on your return to the real world, you may be strengthened and more prepared to commit yourself to the service of God and his Church.

with every blessing

Malcolm Harper