Each little bird that sings…
Three days spent with my son in London have made me think about the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protest holding up traffic across London bridges and blocking roads. Despite the problems they have caused – the hypocrisy of protesters drinking from single-use plastic bottles, or Emma Thomson flying a gas-guzzling 5400 miles from California to join the protest, I agree with them.
David Attenborough has highlighted the problem of human-induced climate change; Greta Thunberg the 16-year-old from Sweden has challenged our nation: Huge swathes of sub-Saharan Africa will become uninhabitable if we do not soon reduce carbon emissions. Nations will be forced to migrate to – where? No country on earth can accommodate unlimited numbers of refugees.
Britain too will be subject to increasing floods, storms, heat waves, droughts and exceptional weather events of all sorts. In Genesis God gave Adam and Eve the earth ‘to till it and keep it’ – not to wreck it.
Out of my study window I watch goldfinches (up to 13 at one time) eat from the bird-feeder, dropping seed to pigeons waiting below. Sometimes we get a sparrow, robin, bullfinch or blue-tit. Out of my bedroom window I watch crows nesting and magpies waiting to steal the crows’ eggs. Some of nature is lovely, some is ‘red in tooth and claw’; but all nature is God’s creation, to be loved and cared for, not polluted to extinction.
Easter in Church
Numbers in Church nearly doubled the usual congregation. At All Saints 50 adults and 20 children attended the Easter Communion service. Starting with the Easter fire was especially moving; people lit their own candles from the Easter candle that in turn was lit from the fire outside church. This is one of those ‘traditions’ from times long past that has been revived in our time. We also follow the tradition of special robes at Christmas and Easter, with a great colourful cope that Derek wore when presiding at Communion. Other churches around us are dispensing with robes altogether, their clergy wearing ordinary clothes; I love all the colour, the dignity, the sense of occasion.
Lent saw bigger numbers than last year, with an average of 15 each Wednesday.
Easter singing at Morrisons on Good Friday raised £83.04. People are wonderfully generous.
All Saints building
Joiner Karl Darwin starts work on All Saints kitchen on 29th April, and Roebuck and Holmes start on the wooden floors on w/b 13th May, from the ‘Beautify the Church’ fund. We recently heard from Hillards charity with a kind donation of £1000 towards this fund. So far we have had new seat cushions, new chairs, an alarm system, gates over the north porch, carpet in the chancel and south transept, painted radiators and £3000 to Landmark.
All Saints is to receive a legacy of £1000 from the late Danny Bain, and we are thinking of what to buy in his memory. Thoughts so far include a screen in the back room, strimmer (petrol), hymn books/music books (new version has more hymns), green altar frontal, mats to cover cables, silver/coated candle sticks , oil filled candles. We can’t get all of these of course! Any other ideas?
Does anyone now do a ‘Spring Clean’? St Oswald’s is doing a clean-up on Saturday 4th May, during the Coffee Morning. We collect litter every week, but more needs doing.
Both churches had Annual Meetings last month. I am grateful both to those who have passed on important roles in the Church’s life, and to those taking on new roles. I mentioned most of them last month, only to add that Richard Mort has kindly taken over as Secretary from Lynne Daff at St Oswald’s. The four assistant wardens at St Oswald’s have been dubbed ‘the Fantastic Four’ – Sam Rushworth, Dot Jackson, Tim Cranston and Joan Learoyd. They are having a training session after Coffee Morning on Saturday 4th May about where everything is, and what needs doing.