From the Rectory
August 2008

For our annual holiday Lys and I spent eleven days in Majorca this year. My fear of flying means that forays overseas have been few. The weather was outstanding as you might expect in the Mediterranean in July. The sea was warm and we both swam at least once every day. Bougainvillea, oleander, and bright red geraniums were everywhere. We flew from Bournemouth (International) Airport, a motley collection of wooden huts at Hurn, hardly designed to inspire you with confidence. It was raining, windy, and the sky was almost black. Two hours later we landed at Palma Airport, very modern and big by comparison. The day before the temperature had been 105 degrees. One evening we went for a walk at about 7.30p.m it was still 85 degrees at that time. We came home, it was raining, windy and the sky was almost black! We were told that you had basked in the usual summer weather for Britain whilst we were away. Was it really that bad here?

Whilst on holiday, free from the daily round of tasks, away from the telephone and emails, my mind gradually emptied of parish affairs and I began to delight in the islands scenery. It really is a very beautiful place. Now that we are home parish business and parish affairs are back on the agenda.

Holidays help us relax and unwind, perhaps offering the opportunity to reflect on what has been going on. We can then see more clearly what needs to be attended too. I love my holidays but am always glad to get back home, absence really does make the heart grow fonder - and of course whilst away we did miss all of you. Going away also helps you appreciate where you live.

When I went away there were four people in hospital, Ernie Matthews, Shirley Driscoll, Joan Bell and William's father Bob Green. I'm glad to say that they are all now at home and on the mend and we wish them continued recovery.

There was scaffolding outside the choir vestry before I left. That has now been dismantled, the rain gullies cleared and the damage to the roof repaired. Hopefully it won't rain in the choir stalls any more. We now await the bill for those repairs. Work will soon start on the new heating boilers, all 25,000 worth of them - plus VAT of course. We have also now received the architects drawings and quotation for the new guttering, down pipes and soakaways, at a cost of 31,000 - VAT to be added. We have some serious thinking and praying to do regarding our parlous financial situation here at Christ Church.

So holiday over - it's back to it, and as you can see from the above there is quite a lot to be getting back to. It's not all money matters and gloom though as the plans for the new Family Service are now well under way, hopefully the up and coming generations that we are trying to attract will appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping this large building in good repair.

Those of you who have yet to take your annual leave, I hope that you have as restful and enjoyable a time as Lys and I, and for those who will not be going away this year, just enjoy the delights of Freemantle.

Yours for Christ's sake.