Serving God, Serving our Community

Monthly reflections

Welcome to the monthly blog …

Dignified disagreement

As I write this our nation is going through a time of uncertainty, unprecedented in peacetime.  Over the coming month we may see a final decision on Brexit or another postponement of that decision.  Maybe an election will be called or perhaps a further referendum proposed.  Despite the torrent of words from commentators, right now no-one really knows. This is not the…

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Dear parishioners and friends, Saying goodbye to people and places you appreciate, as well as work you have enjoyed, is never easy, but our last working weekend in Frittenden and Sissinghurst was both hectic and happy.  The sun shone. A good time was had by all.  A record number of adults and children came to Saturday afternoon’s joint “Messy Church” for all…

Time Flies – Retirement Looms – God is faithful

Dear parishioners and friends, So, as first announced in December 2018, the time has come. After six very happy years here, Angela and I are now retiring. Officially, it’s on September 30th, but the last two weeks of September are part of my annual leave. They will be used for the final preparations for our house move to Loughborough in mid-October. My…

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…