The most important thing I wish to write here
is that of ‘Welcome back, Laura’.
Laura is returning to work in mid July.
She will be taking parishioners to New Wine during the first week of
August. New Wine is a place of renewal, like a pilgrimage can be. Clergy
are instructed to spend time each year on a week away to replenish themselves spiritually.
This is not part of a holiday allocation, it should be seen, as the
church does see it, as a vital part of professional and spiritual development.
A time to spend in prayer, study and worship with those who are part of the
I wonder what you undertake to develop
your spirituality, to feed and grow your spirituality? There are a vast number
of Retreats that take place all over the country. They meet every kind of
spiritual need. I know that, for me, spending time on a Retreat has been
Some of our parishioners took part in a
Spirituality Course which explored our own journeys through life as well as
looking at and practising some of the many different ways we can pray.
Any sharing that takes place is confined to very small groups and there
is never a requirement to share anything that we would rather keep to
ourselves. I am always happy to run this course in the future, providing there
are sufficient numbers interested! It is a good way of exploring what we
call prayer, but which you may not recognise as such. You do not need to be a
committed Christian to join this course, but probably helpful if you are
wanting to explore your personal spirituality. There is always a strong
emphasis on the need for confidentiality, so that anything said at these
meetings is not taken outside the meeting.
As I write this the sun is shining and
it is easy to feel close to God. Summer is really here with an abundance
of flowers and fruits. The birds are busy with their young and all looks good
in the natural world. Of course, we are so blessed to live in such a magnificently
beautiful part of the world. It can be easy to forget the millions of people
fleeing their countries because of war or famine. We have been
celebrating the Windrush Communities who were invited to our country to help
provide labour 70 years ago. More recently where would we be without all the
wonderful incomers who do the jobs that look after our old and frail
population, in Nursing Homes and hospitals? Farmers now have difficulty
recruiting workers for seasonal fruit picking. These people are part of our
Our country has been a place of refuge for
centuries. The houses built around Brick Lane, just outside the City Wall
in London, were built by the Huguenots in, I think the 17th Century.
I hope that, although we live in a county where there is barely any
cultural or racial mix, we can
nevertheless welcome this richness of diverse people who have contributed to
our country over hundreds of years.
I hope that as we
enjoy the summer, whether at home or abroad, we can find time to be refreshed
and renewed. There are some excellent events taking place in our parishes
which should enable you to do this, and which you can find out more about in
the rest of the magazine.