Thoughts from The Vicarage 188

Thoughts from The Vicarage with nature, Betjeman and South Africa

Greetings as the end of half term week approaches. It has seemed unusually quiet in the Valley over the last few days!

Please find attached Pews News as we approach Trinity Sunday with services in St James and St Michael’s. We will be celebrating the marriage of Steve and Suzie in St James on Saturday and wish them every happiness in their future life as husband and wife.

Saturday morning sees the beginning of Churches Count on Nature week 3rd – 11th June. Make this the week to explore the churchyard nearest you!

Come along to St Michael & All Angels’ churchyard on Saturday 3rd June 10 – 12.30. Everyone is invited to help us count what is living in the churchyard. Join us at any time, no booking required. Please bring your own pens, pencils (and clipboards if you have them). Recording sheets and wildlife guides will be provided.

You are also welcome to visit all the churchyards during the week to enjoy the peace and quiet of the green spaces and to do some counting if you wish. In St Michael’s guides to flowers, birds, trees, butterflies, lichens, will be in church for you to see, and recording sheets available. Children should be accompanied by adults to ensure their safety.

Tuesday June 5th is World Environment Day – this year’s theme is focusing on beating plastic pollution and if you are looking for ways of reducing the use of plastic there are some ideas here

Continuing the environmental theme, I suspect that you may have seen the high level of water in the River Lambourn. James & Andrew, Village Wardens of Eastbury have let me know that the environment agency is returning to the river to conduct another cut which is good news for riparian owners.

Concern for the environment is something that Anglicans have long been concerned with. The Anglican Communion states that the fifth mark of mission is ‘ to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth’.

One of our link Dioceses is Kimberley & Kuruman in South Africa. One of my contacts wrote;
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Environmental Network aims in all we do this and every day to support churches to fulfil God’s call to be Earthkeepers and to care for Creation – please pray for us as we pray for you as we care for creation.’ Their request is reflected in our Pews News this week.

Nearer home, some nostalgic news from just up the road in Upper Lambourn in the form of a John Betjeman poem. It is recorded here by the poet himself in a 1959 recording. He who tells of a small village in the Downs. He was on his bicycle and noticed a little Victorian church, St Luke’s and its churchyard (the photo on Pews News this week) After 100 years of use as a church St.Luke’s is now converted to a Smithy and used by a local Farrier.

Upper Lambourn

Up the ash tree climbs the ivy,
Up the ivy climbs the sun,
With a twenty-thousand pattering,
Has a valley breeze begun,
Feathery ash, neglected elder,
Shift the shade and make it run –

Shift the shade toward the nettles,
And the nettles set it free,
To streak the stained Carrara headstone,
Where, in nineteen-twenty-three,
He who trained a hundred winners,
Paid the Final Entrance Fee.

Leathery limbs of Upper Lambourne,
Leathery skin from sun and wind,
Leathery breeches, spreading stables,
Shining saddles left behind –
To the down the string of horses
Moving out of sight and mind.

Feathery ash in leathery Lambourne
Waves above the sarsen stone,
And Edwardian plantations
So coniferously moan
As to make the swelling downland,
Far surrounding, seem their own.

And finally, a prayer you may like to make your own on this Trinity Sunday from the Rt Revd Libby Lane Bishop of Derby

Eternal God,
whose Spirit moved over the face of the deep bringing forth light and life;
by that same Spirit, renew your creation, and restore your image in your people.
Turn us from careless tenants to faithful stewards,
that your threefold blessing of clean air, pure water and rich earth
may be the inheritance of everything that has the breath of life
and one generation may proclaim to another the wonder of your works;
through Jesus Christ, your living Word,
in whom the fullness of your glory is revealed.

God bless


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