I write this in mid-October, as I am about to leave for a week's
course entitled "Celebrating Wisdom". Autumn has well
and truly arrived in more than one sense.
I suppose it is partly as a result of the passing of Lady Barbara
(what an amazing lady she was!) which seems like the end of an
era for St Chad's and the various new challenges that are facing
us both in Pattingham and as the Church in this Diocese and nationally
too. So I am beginning to feel that my ministry is moving from
'summer' to 'autumn'. Maybe too it is the awareness of a significant
birthday coming up next year.... But autumn can often be the
most productive time of year in the garden, can't it? It is the
autumn after all when the harvest comes in; when we begin to
see the result of all the work put in during earlier times.
And I am very aware of all that I have still to learn! Partly
as a result of my study leave during the summer, but also because
of an exercise that I and Iain Coleman and Henry Ibberson are
about to undertake on your behalf... We in Pattingham are being
asked to listen to the stories of church members in another part
of the diocese.... St Alban's, Ashmore Park - to try and understand
what it feels like to be witnessing to the Gospel there and to
share whatever wisdom and expertise we may have to offer....
Ah, "wisdom", there is that word again!
November is a month of remembrance when the wisdom and folly
of humanity is much in our minds as we think of all those who
have paid the ultimate price in the service of our country and
our values. Conflicts both recent and distant will be much in
our minds - and of course next year sees the centenary of the
First World War.... and the fact that I knew well grandparents
who had lived through those dreadful years, again brings home
to me that time is passing! The year whizzes by - faster and
faster it seems as I get older!
But age and experience do bring their own rewards... wisdom?
Well maybe. I think probably a greater sense of tolerance; a
better perspective on life with all its crises and high points.
And there is always Messy Church (21st Nov in the Village Hall)
to get me out of this rather philosophical mood and back to the
practicalities of today! Lots more helpers required please for
this and another exciting project involving the School that I
hope we will be involved with before Christmas comes around again
(! Where does the time go???)
I wish you happy memories for the month of remembrance