Rev Chris’ Blog
Join me each month as I ponder life with all the highs and lows we encounter along the way.
I hope you enjoy my blog whose aim is to raise a smile as well as give food for thought.
As always, I would love to hear from you, so please contact me 01278 781147 or [email protected]
God bless you,
Rector for The Huntspills & Mark
June 2022 “Are you being served?”
When visiting a friend in Australia, to my amazement I found myself shopping in a department store called ‘Grace Brothers’. It was all that I could do to refrain from looking for Captain Peacock by the lift and singing the theme song (about what was available on each floor) that once opened every programme in the now rather dated comedy series ‘Are you being served?’.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘service’ over the last few weeks. The Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is a celebration of the service that she has given in this role: 70 years of faithful service – an incredible achievement. It has been the words that she shared five years before she became queen, on her twenty first birthday, in her speech to the Commonwealth, that have stayed with me: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” What an amazing commitment to make at such a young age, and to have stuck to through all the challenges that the years have delivered. In her Coronation Day speech, our Queen said: ‘I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.’ That basis in relationship, and commitment to the wellbeing of others ahead of ourselves is, I believe, at the heart of all true service.
As we approached Easter, ahead of Jesus’ ultimate act of service for us all, we also remembered him kneeling to wash his disciples’ feet – an act of humble service, showing them how they should treat others. Amidst the appalling atrocities that we have witnessed in Ukraine, there have been many heartening acts of service by people across the world. Our prayers and thoughts remain with everyone affected by the Russian invasion. Through it all, it seems to me that President Volodymyr Zelensky has been inspirational – from acts of deep courage to taking time to answer the letter of a 12 year old English school boy. He has given us an example of true and active service.
On 5th June we will be honouring our Queen in a special Platinum Jubilee Church Service in each of our village churches. This day is also the festival of Pentecost, the birthday of the church. As our churches seek to grow in serving God and their communities this seems a very fitting coincidence. Please do come and be part of this special celebration.
Wishing you a very happy and enjoyable Platinum Jubilee Weekend, that then sets the tone for the month ahead.
God bless you,
Rev Chris (Rector for The Huntspills & Mark)
May 2022 ‘Hold your head up!’
I love the month of May! It’s not only because it starts with a Bank Holiday, but I’m sure that is significant. It’s not only because I know lots of lovely people whose births we celebrate in May, though that also plays its part. It’s not even because of the tradition of giving Lily of the Valley to mark May Day – though that does remind me of both of my grand mothers. It seems to me that May is a month of positivity and hope. We are sufficiently into spring time for the weather to have become reliably warmer and many flowers to have bloomed beautifully. Easter Day has been celebrated, with its stance against fear and its message of hope, and now is the time to engage with living our lives well.
Ascension Day (26th May) is on the horizon, marking Jesus’ ascension into heaven. This encourages us to look upwards, to see his glory, and yet to do so from where we are, with our feet on the ground – holding together the ‘not-yet’ and the ‘now’. This reminds me of a seventies hit song by Argent, called ‘Hold your head up!’. So many things in life can lead us to look downwards. We can all find ourselves weighed down by worries and grief, and these things do require time and space. When the time is right, however, we need to figure out how to look upwards again – gently at first, but bravely too. Only then can we play our part in building a better world, for ourselves and for those around us.
Although sometimes the problems in our world can seem overwhelming, and we just don’t know where to start, there are many ways that we can all make a difference. Across our villages people have been raising money and providing support for Ukrainians over the past few months, which I’m sure will continue, in addition to the support provided for many other valuable charities. Christian Aid week runs from 15th to 21st May this year, and in addition to supporting Ukrainian refugees, they are focussing on areas already struggling with the effects of Climate Change, where people have then been crushed by Covid and various conflicts, and are now reeling from the inflationary outcomes of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Operating on a local level, Christian Aid provides ground-roots solutions, like drought-resistant seeds, as well as campaigning for Climate Justice – seeking to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty – where everyone can hold their heads up!
May this month be one in which you can hold your head up – being aware of the wonders beyond, yet with your feet firmly grounded, so that you can then make a difference to those in need.
God bless you,
(Rector for The Huntspills & Mark)
P.S. We’re looking forward to all the celebrations of HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in June, including our special church services on 5th June……do come and join us – All are Welcome