Thoughts from the Vicarage 185

Thoughts from The Vicarage with Ascension, a poem & cushions


Please find attached Pews News with thanks to all those who contributed to so many wonderful coronation celebrations, large or small throughout the Valley.

Please remember Ascension Day on Thursday when we will celebrate with a service in St Michael’s at 7.30pm.

The PPG or Patient Participation Group newsletter is also attached with some important information.

Many thanks to bell ringers who were hard at work in the towers of St Michael’s and All Saints over the weekend and to the Isbury & Hardrett Almshouses for flying the flag in Lambourn while the church flagpole awaits replacement.

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of St Michael’s the congregation on Sunday enjoyed the comfort of brand new bench pew cushions – do call in during the week and try them out! If you are interested in joining the Friends of St Michael’s do please get in touch.

The coronation Monday theme of helping out in our communities was truly evident in all sorts of ways . . . for example Edwards Hill in Lambourn is now so much safer as families walk to and from school or to the shops thanks to the clearing of the pathways. If you would like to know more about volunteering either within the churches or within the wider community please do get in touch!

I have been asked to remind you that Berkshire Vision Roadshow is coming to the Lambourn Surgery on Tuesday May 16th 10am till midday – if you are living with sight loss this is an excellent resource. If you can’t get along do ring 0118 987 2803 they are really keen to help.

And finally for reflection:

An Unexpected Guest by Simon Armitage (With Samuel Pepys)

She’s treated herself to new shoes, a window seat
on the fast train, a hotel for a night.
 She’s been to the capital twice before,
once to see Tutankhamun when she was nine
and once when it rained. Crossing The Mall
she’s just a person like everyone else
but her hand keeps checking the invitation,
her thumb strumming the gilded edge of the card,
her finger tracing the thread of embossed leaves.
In sight of the great porch she can’t believe
the police just step aside, that doors shaped
for God and giants should open to let her in.

She’s taken her place with ambulance drivers
and nurses and carers and charity workers,
a man who alchemised hand sanitiser
from gin, a woman who walked for sponsored miles,
the boy in the tent. The heads of heads of state
float down the aisle, she knows the names
of seven or eight. But the music’s the thing:
a choir transmuting psalms into sonorous light,
the cavernous sleepwalking dreams
of the organ making the air vibrate,
chords coming up through the soles of her feet.
Somewhere further along and deeper in
there are golden and sacred things going on:
glimpses of crimson, flashes of jewels
like flames, high priests in their best bling,
the solemn wording of incantations and spells,
till the part where promise and prayer become fused:
the moment is struck, a pact is sworn.

And got to the abby . . . raised in the middle . . .
Bishops in cloth-of-gold Copes . . .
nobility all in their parliament-robes . . .
The Crowne being put on his head
a great shout begun. And he came forth . . .
taking the oath . . . And Bishops . . . kneeled
. . . and proclaimed . . . if any could show
any reason why Ch. . . . should not be the King . . .
that now he should come and speak . . .
The ground covered with blue cloth . . .
And the King came in with his Crowne . . .
and mond . . . and his sceptre in hand . . .

She’ll watch it again on the ten o’clock news
from the armchair throne in her living room:
did the cameras notice her coral pink hat
or her best coat pinned with the hero’s medal she got
for being herself? The invitation is propped
on the mantelpiece by the carriage clock.
She adorned the day with ordinariness;
she is blessed to have brought the extraordinary home.
And now she’ll remember the house sparrow
she thought she’d seen in the abbey roof
arcing from eave to eave, beyond and above.

Warmest wishes and God bless


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