Serving God, Serving our Community

Rector's Reflections

Welcome to the monthly blog from the Rectory…

We’re all going on a summer holiday…

Dear parishioners and friends, Nowadays, many people are fortunate to be able to take holiday breaks increasingly often.   Possibly at weekends, midweek, winter, spring or autumn, as well as during the peak summer period.   Although it can still sometimes be hard to make ends meet, generally our society is more affluent than it used to be. Outside of the peak summer season…

Have you had two birthdays?

Dear parishioners and friends, When Angela and I worked in France and our 3 daughters were born in Provence, we were intrigued by a French tradition. As well as sending birthday cards, they also often sent greetings on the feast day of the “saint” you might be named after.  It was rather like having two birthdays a year. In my own life…

May celebrations

Dear parishioners and friends, May is one of my favourite months. England’s green and pleasant land can be absolutely delightful, with a flourishing abundance of fresh new growth, blossom and wild flowers.  It’s no surprise, then, that May is extremely popular for celebrations and festivities, as well as country walks.  During May we usually have our annual church rogation walk, when we…

Running the Race?

Dear parishioners and friends, On Easter Monday this year (April 22nd) I’m planning to take part in the Frittenden Fun Run, as I have done once before.   Although I was a very keen club, cross country, distance and marathon runner from school and college until my early 40s, recording some quite respectable results and times, my knees then started playing up, despite…

Pancakes and Praise

Dear parishioners and friends, My surname reflects my family’s roots in a small but significant village – Olney in north Buckinghamshire.  It’s well known for two things.  One is its Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race (since 1445), about which I wrote in 2016.  Its other, more significant claim to fame is a hugely influential hymnbook published in February 1779, entitled the Olney Hymns. …

The date of ‘Frexit’ is announced as 30 September 2019

Dear parishioners and friends, Possibly when you read this article we will all know a bit more clearly what is going to happen with “Brexit.”   Will it be Teresa May’s negotiated Brexit  deal or a no deal Brexit?  Will there perhaps be a “People’s Vote” referendum to see if the majority still do want Brexit now we all know what the actual…

A faith that asks no questions?

Dear parishioners and friends, Whilst serving as British ambassador to the USA, Cecil Spring-Rice died there in 1918.  In 1908 he had written the words of the patriotic hymn, ‘I vow to thee my country’, referring to “the love that asks no question.”  For Christians, our love for God and for fellow humans are central to our faith. However, Christianity is nota faith that…

Old Age: glory in the grey?

“Planted in the house of the Lord…. the righteous still bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92: 13-14)  Time ticks on…   Years roll by….    Another year, another birthday…    Where are we?    What are we?    Who are we? I recently rediscovered the helpful short meditation below in a book I bought on the beautiful island of Iona in 1994 (it’s amazing to think that that was a quarter…

Glencoe: the valley of the shadow

Dear parishioners and friends, It’s hard to believe that my mountain walking holiday in Scotland was almost 3 months ago.  Long, hot, dry days and clear visibility meant we were privileged to enjoy the mountains, lochs, islands, moorland, waterfalls and woods at their best. In our modern gear we ascended 13 Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) in the Glencoe/Ben Nevis area.  We enjoyed similar views…

End of an era: the start of a new one

  This month we celebrate the end of an era: the years of recent work to restore and improve facilities at St Mary’s church for the 21stcentury.  We are deeply grateful to all those who have worked hard, fund-raised and used their time and talents to make it all possible.  We are not sad to see the scaffolding go, but it was…