Good afternoon friends of the Valley – especially to our new readers!
What a change of weather we are experiencing at the moment – with a biting Northerly wind drying the washing in record time! And just as I was thinking of collecting elderflowers tomorrow.
I’ve been inspired by one of our correspondents who so kindly gifted me a bottle of her own making. Have to admit, didn’t realise it had to be kept in the fridge … I may now be drinking elderflower wine! It is so delicious and a million times better than the bought sort. Belinda church mouse has been snoozing a lot – I reckon she’s been sipping it neat 😉.
She’s been telling me off for not writing this week and I must apologise – there has been a great deal going on as I’m sure you’ll understand. And of course, as usual the goings on have been from the sublime to the ridiculous as ever. Except this week has included more … much more.
Locally in the news …
and as Volunteer week draws to a close. Thank you to all those in the Valley villages who are doing so much to support our communities. It is a wonderful testament to this place. In a number of ways Covid 19 has not only been a disrupter but also a potential or stimulus to promote change – at both a personal level and also more widely in our local communities and in the country, the world as a whole. I do pray that kindness, the best of what we are all experiencing at this time will become part of our daily living as restrictions lessen.
And thanks to Beechwood Farm free range eggs for their generosity and kindness shown to our community. On ordering a couple of extra trays of 30 eggs, I mentioned that they were for the local food bank. When the delivery arrived I was presented with 12 dozen eggs as a gift to the community. And what’s more they were in sixes cartons so we didn’t need to transfer them from trays!
Belinda churchmouse is ‘on tour ‘next week along with the Vicar!
We are back to our ‘normal’ afternoon times. Please do spread the word and of course all are welcome to share news, pray or simply chat. Only if the weather is extremely inclement will the Vicar remain in The Vicarage!
- East Garston June 8th 2.30 – 3.30
- Eastbury Tuesday June 9th 2.30 – 3.30
- Lambourn Wednesday June 10th 2.30 – 3.30
Anyone for horse racing … ?
Joking apart – good news for the industry and all those related to the industry that this is now happening. Oisin Murphy champion jockey from Lambourn featured on BBC Breakfast this morning and was a super ambassador not only for his sport but also Lambourn! As I write he will be gearing up for the 2000 Guineas race on Kameko. We wish him well and hope that he will fulfil an ambition to win a Classic! Here’s the link if you’d like to catch https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcone from 7.39 !
11 weeks in this strange lockdown world …
and up till May 25th the daily headlines were dominated by Covid 19 and the associated news. That was until the day that George Floyd died. That was the day that the headlines changed and then the riots stole the headlines from the virus with calls for justice, for fairness and for the end to discrimination on the grounds of race and colour.
And now, in my mind the headlines merge. The virus has been called a great leveller and we hear the words ‘we’re all in the same boat – but are we? Are all our boats the same as we ride through the storm? My suggestion is that we’re all in different boats as the storm of the virus rages. The headlines calling for justice merge as we hear calls for justice for the most vulnerable in society, for those in our care homes, for those who are key workers receiving the most meagre of pay, for those who have no roof over their head, for those who have severe learning difficulties, those who are making choices between food or electricity … and sadly each of us is probably able to add to the list.
And what does the Gospel say to this – we hear that God is a moral and ethical God, a righteous God who cares about justice. A God whose justice is right, true and fair. And if you’re wondering where does this idea come from Listen here https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/podcast/god-is-a-righteous-judge/ as Bishop Steven reflects upon Psalm 7 – a prayer for help when being persecuted.
Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday …
and as usual there is the Diocesan streamed service which will be here: https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/ followed by coffee. It is a day when we recall God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Rublev’s icon depicts the Trinity. Here it is with a sonnet of Malcolm Guite.
In the Beginning, not in time or space,
But in the quick before both space and time,
In Life, in Love, in co-inherent Grace,
In three in one and one in three, in rhyme,
In music, in the whole creation story,
In His own image, His imagination,
The Triune Poet makes us for His glory,
And makes us each the other’s inspiration.
He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,
To improvise a music of our own,
To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,
Three notes resounding from a single tone,
To sing the End in whom we all begin;
Our God beyond, beside us and within.
And finally … a Celtic prayer
I saw a stranger last night. I put food in the eating place, drink in the drinking place, music in the listening place, and in the sacred name of the Triune, he blessed myself and my house and my cattle and my dear ones. And the lark said in her song, “Often, often, often goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise”. Amen.