Thoughts from The Vicarage 204

Thoughts from The Vicarage with St Francis, chickens and a convent

Greetings a little later today due to a wonderful morning spent in church with the F2 class along with Miss Crick and support staff.

Thank you for coming F2! We look forward to seeing you all next month! The children were fascinated as they looked at the sword and scales of the St Michael’s flower arrangement and then went on to find those very same items in the East stained glass window.

At a pragmatic level they noticed that St Michael was wearing a red top – just like ‘our uniform is red’ and, at a deeper level they talked about good and bad or evil, as one F2 pointed out. Sadly, as you may have heard, this was very relevant to the children because the school the chicken coop had been vandalised earlier in the week.

Committed by an individual from the wider community the alloy coop was cut open with either wire cutters or a power tool. As a result, the children had to come to terms with the loss of 2 of their chickens, which had been hatched, reared and cared for by the children from eggs. They were very much loved as were the eggs which were laid. With such a mindless and cruel act of vandalism evil was very evident to them.

The children spoke of Jesus being the light of the world and how it is that light which pushes back the evil. The light in this case was the numerous messages offering help to replace the coop and chickens. Such is the kindness of the vast majority of people. If you were one of those who made contact with school – thank you.

Care for God’s creation is at the forefront over the next few weeks as we give thanks for the Harvest. This week’s service is in Eastbury at 4pm on Sunday. Coming up next week is Lambourn’s which nicely coincides with the Valley Green Weekend. There’s lots going on and all the information you need may be found on the Lambourn Valley Benefice website …
Green weekend in the Lambourn Valley 13 to 15 October 2023

Please click the links in the above to book your free reservations on the Eco walks & talks or just email if that’s easier. Once again there will be action, learning eating and reflection time over the weekend so I look forward to seeing you.

Reflection often needs time to be set aside. There is a super opportunity to do just that at a Beginners’ Retreat to be held on 18–19 November at St Mary’s Convent, Wantage. Led by Sr Lizzie Ruth this retreat is for anyone who has never been on one before or who would value some extra guidance on how to use the space and time in retreat.

Participants will first be given some helpful general advice about being in retreat and helped to enter into the quietness and slower pace of the weekend. Then every few hours they will be offered a couple of suggestions, along with guidance, of different activities they might like to try out in the space and silence. These will include journalling, going for a walk, using our new labyrinth, praying with a Bible passage, and praying with an icon or picture. These optional activities will be aimed at helping each participant enjoy some quality time with God in a relaxed setting. Programmed into the retreat timetable will be a few opportunities for participants to join the Sisters in chapel. Sr Lizzie Ruth will let participants know what to expect ahead of time so that if they are unfamiliar with praying a Daily Office or with the CSMV Sisters’ services, they can go into chapel feeling a bit more at ease. The hope is that as well as being an enriching retreat in itself, this weekend will help each participant feel more confident about being on retreat in the future. Find out more and book your plac If you are half thinking about this but not quite sure – please do have a word with either Christine or myself – it is an excellent opportunity.

Finally, if you think you would like to learn more about the Bible take a look at the Story of Scripture course. It opens on next week. Over six units, you’ll open your Bible, gain a deeper understanding of what God was doing throughout the pages of Scripture and how God is calling you to join in that same story. Find out more.

And very finally in the week we remembered St Francis we pray in the words of his Canticle of Creation:

Praise be to you, my Lord, through all your creatures,
Laudato Si’, Mi Signore
especially through my Brother Sun,
through Sister Moon and the stars,
through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
through Brother Fire,
through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us, producing
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be to you, my Lord, through all your creatures,
Laudato Si’, Mi Signore

God bless


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