Vicar's letter October / November 2019

Looking around the countryside, the grain harvest in the fields is over for another year, just maize and sugar beet left for harvesting when they are ready.  My own harvest of tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries etc. is also nearly over as we move into Autumn. The success of a good harvest depends on a number of things.  First of all, get the right seed.  Then prepare a good seedbed suitable for what is to be grown – different plants have different requirements, as I am sure many of you know.  Then as they start growing you can’t just leave them if you want a good healthy and abundant crop.  They need looking after.  It may be by weeding, by use of pesticides (unless you are organic), by regular feeding and generally caring and looking after them.  Then comes the joy of a good harvest and the satisfaction of having helped the plants reach their potential.


We can experience a similar satisfaction as members of our communities as we survey the results of our neighbourliness and enjoy the harvest of enriched lives.  As we look around our villages we can become aware of what people need to help them flourish and grow, just like those plants.  There are some among us who often don’t speak to another person for several days, and others who find it difficult to get out to places where social things happen.  There may be families struggling to bring up children in our rural area, or single people longing for more in their lives than going to work each day.  Offering to help with shopping, sitting down for a chat over a cup of tea or discussing the news over the garden fence, although small things, could be just what is needed for flourishing to take place.  Or it may be that visits to the doctors have become difficult for those who don’t drive and the more active among us can readily assist. Just being on the end of a telephone with a welcome greeting and a few minutes to chat can be a great help.  We all have different gifts and different amounts of free time, but we can use them in a positive way, helping others to lead as full a life as possible. Then comes the joy of surveying the harvest, knowing we have helped the growth along and the satisfaction of being a good neighbour.


As St Paul wrote in one of his letters:  “Then you will be enriched in every way for your great generosity which will produce thanksgiving to God through us”.  (2 Cor 9.11)


John Ash



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Vicar's letter August / September 2019

Dear Friends,

As I write our country is in a time of waiting; for the outcome of leadership elections, for a conclusion to “Brexit”, for signs of a more stable and secure society.  This time of waiting is reflected in our work places and in our homes as we wait; for exam results, for new babies, for medical test results, for news of loved ones.  How good are we, I wonder, at waiting?

From the earliest times of our lives we learn that we sometimes have to wait for things, but our developing knowledge of technology and engineering has made so many things instantly accessible for us that we may have lost some of the skills for waiting that our ancestors had.  We are prepared to wait when we are certain of the outcome (and how long the wait will be), but we find it more of a challenge to wait with uncertainty.

Waiting well with uncertainty requires us to hold on to hope and to maintain a balance that does not allow our imagined negative outcomes to overshadow the possible positive ones.  It also asks that we accept our place in waiting, to realise that we cannot make the time less or more, and to be patient.

Our need to learn patience is something that we have in common as members of our communities.  We can learn together to be patient with one another, and with the outside influences that touch our lives.  And, we can learn to be patient with ourselves.  Such patience may involve good listening, where we really seek to “hear” the heart of the matter.  It may involve kindness, as we allow each other to be who we are.  It may involve acceptance of situations or of people.  It may be that we need to “stay calm and carry on” until the appearance of that time of stability, for which so many of us long.

When St Paul wrote to the newly formed church in Galatia he urged them to “not become weary of doing good, for at a proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  As we continue to journey through our times of waiting, let us not become weary of doing good either, but go on in hope and patience towards the harvest that lies ahead.


With my prayers as we wait,



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