Letter from the Vicar
What a lot has happened since I last wrote ‘page two’ for St Dunstan's parish magazine; two terrorist attacks in this country, a general election and a tragic fire of a high-rise block in London.
Within the life of St Dunstan’s church, your Vicar has returned to work after an absence of nine weeks recovering from an operation, (I am much better thank-you but still not quite 100% fit – or as fit as I was!), we enjoyed Bishop Trevor’s visit for the Deanery confirmation service, where we witnessed 11 people be confirmed. Three youngsters have been baptised, Messy Church has happened as normal with 20 children and 28 adults enjoying a service exploring the call of God to Samuel and lots of people climbed to the top of the tower during the bank holiday fun in May.
And so, we remember good times and bad times, locally and nationally, things that managed to reach the front pages of the newspapers and occasions that didn’t make the news at all.
How are we to deal with all this? What we mustn’t do is over-burden ourselves with other people’s problems, that’s God’s job. Yes, we need to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, but as a wise Archdeacon once told us clergy as we looked at the parable of the lost sheep, and wondering, with the declining number of congregations in church, if we were the one sheep who was lost and the 99 were those outside the church, the archdeacon said, ‘always remember you can only carry one sheep at a time!’ therefore - take it steady.
July and August are months when many people have holidays. Schools breakup, factories shut down for a fortnight and sometimes we all enjoy lovely weather! These months then become time to rest and relax, to barbecue and bathe, to visit new places and perhaps even attend a different church on a Sunday. If you are having a holiday away from Cranbrook please do take one of St Dunstan’s parish magazines with you and send our best wishes to the congregation there. Bring back one of their magazines, it’s a way of learning and sharing new ideas and realising that we are one big family.
That for me has been the striking thing that has occurred as a result of the terrible occurrences in Manchester and London, and as a result of seeing young and old come forward for baptism and confirmation, we are one big family and when one hurts, we hurt and when one rejoices, we rejoice.
There has been a noticeable outpouring of love across the nation and might that just be the Grace of God in action? that will help us deal with all this?
Whether we stay at home or go away, let’s enjoy these Holy Days given to us when we are on holidays, and thank God for bearing the burdens of our big family.
With love from your sister and mother in Christ