Thoughts from the Vicarage 186

Thoughts from The Vicarage with Ascension Day, a kneeler and a green note


Please find attached Pews News on Ascension Day which we will celebrate in St Michael’s at 7.30pm this evening. All are welcome. And for those who may be wondering why the bells were ringing yesterday evening … that’s why!

Since the late fourth century on the fortieth day after Easter there has been a celebration of Christ’s ascension. He blesses and commissions his disciples to continue his work, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, as he is no longer among them in the flesh.  Rather he takes our flesh and blood to heaven as a mortal to sit at God’s right hand. The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost next week ends the Easter Festival. In the mystery of the Ascension we reflect on the way in which, in one sense Christ ‘leaves’ us and is taken away into Heaven, but in another sense he is given to us and to the world in a new and more universal way.

East Garston has been celebrating the return of the bells and it has been a joy to hear them calling all to worship. Many thanks to Dawn who has embroidered a new kneeler to celebrate  the return of the bells and in remembrance of three generations of the Woodley family who rang them. How beautiful is that! The mock up embroidery will be completed and then sewn to the back of the kneeler.

What great talent we have in the Valley!

In other news with a green ‘note’ Alan Titchmarsh is hosting a new short series on Classic FM, dedicated to the long-lasting connection between classical music and nature. Nature Notes, starting on Sunday 21 May at 9pm, will celebrate the wealth of classical music that’s been inspired by, and written about, the countryside. From Beethoven’s best-loved ‘Pastoral’ Symphony to the lesser-known ‘Le Chant des Oiseaux’ by Clément Janequin, for an hour every Sunday night, Alan will share some of classical music’s best-loved melodies connected to animals and nature. Episode one will focus on birds, from Delius’ ‘On hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring’ to Vaughan Williams ‘The Lark Ascending’, an eternal favourite.

And finally a sonnet from Malcolm Guite for reflection on Ascension Day


We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.

God bless


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