Thoughts from the Vicarage 47

Good afternoon on this extremely blustery day,

I trust that this finds you well as a new week dawns. As a young child I remember my parents, my mother in particular being an ardent fan of Wimbledon and, as a tennis player myself I relished the fortnight when I’d get the train after school to try and get a ticket left by a kind soul for the early evening sessions on Centre or Number 1 court. But of course, the best laid plans as they say were quite often thwarted as the rain came down and the umbrellas went up! So, it was with a wry smile that I woke to blustery showers this morning – even the weather knew it was Wimbledon time! The good news for tennis fans is that there will be tennis and the weather won’t stop play. It may be cancelled this year but the BBC will make sure you can still watch plenty of classic action and hear from the top players. Please don’t write me a green pen letter of complaint because I haven’t mentioned football … This is a gentle reminder for tennis fans!

Seriously though, apart from Wimbledon, this time of year is also an important time in the church. It’s known as Petertide when the church remembers Saint Peter as it has today, June 29th.

St Peter is a favourite for me. We remember the disciple who, for all his many mistakes, knew how to recover and hold on, who, for all his waverings was called by Jesus ‘the rock’. He learned the threefold lesson that every betrayal can ultimately be restored by love. It is especially fitting that it is at Petertide that new priests and deacons are ordained, on, or around the day when we remember a man whose recovery from mistakes and openness to love can give them courage.

These three pictures are from a Triptych painted by Sister Regina of Turvey Abbey.










Malcolm Guite, priest and poet has written this sonnet which encapsulates so much of Peter’s character and invites us the reader to find consolation as we journey through life.

Impulsive master of misunderstanding
You comfort me with all your big mistakes;
Jumping the ship before you make the landing,
Placing the bet before you know the stakes.
I love the way you step out without knowing,
The way you sometimes speak before you think,
The way your broken faith is always growing,
The way he holds you even when you sink.
Born to a world that always tried to shame you,
Your shaky ego vulnerable to shame,
I love the way that Jesus chose to name you,
Before you knew how to deserve that name.
And in the end your Saviour let you prove
That each denial is undone by love.

The Vicar is still on tour …

All are welcome! It was rather breezy in East Garston this afternoon. Thanks to Bob we found a sheltered area in the churchyard and even tested Zoom from inside the church – which, as you will remember is now open for private prayer!

  • Tuesday June 30th St James The Greater Eastbury 2.30 – 3.30
  • Wednesday July 1st St Michael and All Angels 2.30 – 3.30

And finally, most importantly …

On Twitter today I read of the 111 option 2 for mental health support. A sufferer wrote how ‘they offer compassionate response and the right support’. Please share news of this service if you or anyone you know are struggling with mental ill health at this time – you are not alone.

God bless