Good morning and just a quick line to say …
How super it was to see so many friends up and down the Valley this week! I hope that you enjoyed our conversations as much as I did! And a call out to all those who showed such kindness carrying collapsible chairs and generally being porters for me. A special thank you must go to Alex from The George in Lambourn who bought over a flask of tea and nibbles for us.
Belinda and I will be on tour next week at slightly different times – coffee time rather than tea time bur alas, no more coffee that there was tea! Please do spread the word and of course all are welcome.
- East Garston June 1st 10.30 – 11.30
- Eastbury Tuesday June 2nd 10.30 – 11.30
- Lambourn Wednesday June 3rd 10.30 – 11.30
A common theme throughout my travels is one of great thankfulness for this Valley and all that it offers us in terms of nature and opportunities to be out and about for those who are able. The gratitude and pleasure bought these verses to mind:
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
John 1:3 King James Bible
And then Psalm 19 delights in God’s creation bringing together the whole cosmos, God and His wisdom:
The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1 NRSV
Did you have Nature walks at school?
At my school we did, with wild flower competitions in which you had to pick your flower, shudder the thought nowadays, and take it into school where it joined other specimens! One of our correspondents has been out walking with the children who have been discovering plants and their names. Here we have an ox-eye field ragged robin and a delicate wild rose – the joy of outdoor learning!
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday May 31st
As Bishop Olivia says the extraordinary story told in the book of Acts about the pouring out of the holy spirit on the early church should cause us a sharp intake of breath! Listen to our Bishop retell the story and the impact of that event upon the whole world … it is truly inspiring https://vimeo.com/422811926/29743af5e9
The themes and readings of Pentecost have been woven into a sonnet by the poet Malcolm Guite who was struck by the way Scripture expresses the presence of the Holy Spirit through the three most dynamic of the four elements, the air, ( a mighty rushing wind, but also the breath of the spirit) water, (the waters of baptism, the river of life, the fountain springing up to eternal life promised by Jesus) and of course fire, the tongues of flame at Pentecost. It feels very apt as we give thanks for the joys of creation
Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.
Looking ahead …
From Thursday to Saturday this week I will be on retreat. This was to be held at Aylesford Priory in Kent but obviously this is not now possible. So I’ll be joining fellow priests for a short time each day for the offices (prayers) of the day and an online address. These will be followed by times of quiet reflection, prayer and study.
This plaque comes from Aylesford Priory. It is rather apt as we move towards Pentecost.
The Virtual Plate attachment …
Please read and respond prayerfully as you are able. And please, do be in contact if you have any concerns whatsoever, immediately to Christine on 07801 674108 or to myself from Sunday 07749 844600.
Please do request the Zoom code for Morning Prayer and Compline if you would like to join a group in praying the offices. You will be very welcome. The Pentecost service will be available here on Sunday:https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/ and do join us for after church coffee when we gather and share news and rejoice in ‘seeing’ one another. Paul will be kindly sending out the codes as per usual.
Please pray for me as I’ll be praying for you on retreat,
Meanwhile God bless,