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
August 2022 “Back to Basics”
I’ve been getting my kit ready to go camping this summer. Mad? Probably. Should have grown out of it by now? Maybe. Wondering why I agreed to it, when I could have booked a nice hotel or Airbnb? Yes,….but actually…..,No.
The truth is, I really do enjoy camping. There is something wonderful about being outdoors, getting back to basics and adjusting to a different pace. Letting go of the internet is a bit of a challenge – I know I don’t have to, but I also know it does me good sometimes. Going to bed when it gets dark, though not necessarily getting up when it gets light, is quite refreshing too. The satisfaction of putting the tent up, of cooking a meal on rather basic facilities and of following the map on a new walk is great, and the fresh air is a very effective aid to sleep. Yes – I’m looking forward to it, and pleased to see that the weather is looking promising too.
Of course, I’ve had some disasters along the way…camping-gaz firey experiences, storms when it felt like the only thing keeping my tent from flying away was me weighing it down, and the year I had the bright idea of putting a sheet of plastic under my tent, only it was too large, and the rain ran down the outside of the tent onto the top of the plastic, forming my very own swimming pool inside! Even the worst disasters were survivable, and at the end of the day all I had to do was pile everything back into the car and get home….no harm done. That’s when it’s obvious that all I ever do is play at camping, for a week or so. I don’t think I’d be so keen if camping was my everyday reality, even with a reasonable tent.
As I pack to go camping, the United Nations have just released this year’s Sustainable Development Goals Report, and it doesn’t make for comfortable reading. The Ukraine war is creating one of the largest refugee crises of modern time, according to this report. As of May, over 100 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes; some 11.5 million in Ukraine alone. They may not all be living in tents – but some do not even have that much shelter. However we choose to spend this summer, let’s not forget that so many have little or no choices to make, are struggling to survive and have no homes to return to. Let’s keep digging deep and sharing what we have, conscious that we have all been tasked with loving our neighbour as ourselves. We can all still donate through post offices as well as online, to organisations like the Disasters Emergency Committee, which is an umbrella group for 15 UK charities, and will use the funds to provide food, water and medical assistance to refugees fleeing Ukraine. We may not be hearing as much in the news, but the needs are still there, and growing.
Wishing you much joy this summer, whether you are able to take a holiday or not, and whether you enjoy camping or prefer more home comforts.
God bless you, and bless others through your actions, Rev Chris
July 2022 “Dare to Dream”
What an amazing Platinum Jubilee we all had! A huge thank you to everyone who made the local events such a success. Even the weather was better than I dared to hope it might be. Spending time together was a real joy and it was splendid that so many people attended the events in their own villages. Catching up with the National celebrations, after the event, I found myself wondering where all the ideas came from, who dared to dream them up and to then make them become reality. From the intricate parades to the extraordinary pagaent contributions….and of course, Paddington….. such creativity and courage is inspirational.
I wonder where your dreams lie? We are often encouraged to dream ‘big’ – have you done so? And have you then followed that dream forward? Sometimes being a dreamer is seen as being rather disconnected with the real world, impractical and unlikely, but as we are reminded in Happy Talk, from South Pacific, ‘If you don’t have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true?’.
‘To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go…….’ So begins ‘The Quest’, a popular song by Leigh and Darion. It was a favourite of both Ted Kennedy and his brother Robert, who saw it as meaning that no matter the outcome, it’s worth making the effort. It was also a favourite of Evelio Javier, the assassinated governor of the province of Antique in the Philippines, and the song has become a symbol of his sacrifice for democracy and the song’s lyrics are written in brass on a monument in the plaza where he was shot. Every year, Javier is remembered on Evelio Javier Day and the song is featured. No matter how short his life – its value was immense.
Taking time to dream, and daring to dream beyond the easily achievable, is an essential element of meaningful progress. As we face all manner of difficulties in our world, near at hand and far away, we must not let our dreams be diminished, we must not give up and stop striving for the things we know to be true – no matter how hard, how unlikely, how challenging it may seem. Many years ago a poor carpenter’s son dreamed big – and although in worldly terms he failed, ending up deserted, persecuted and nailed to a tree, his dream lives on, as indeed does he!
This Summer, let’s take time to dream – dare to dream new dreams, bravely rekindle older dreams…..and prayerfully step forwards into the future that is ours to shape!
God bless you,
Rev Chris (Rector for The Huntspills & Mark)