Rector’s Letter – September
This week there were two days on which good weather would have made a difference to me: the Wednesday of the Exford Show and the Friday of the Dunster Show. Unfortunately, while the days in-between those two days were bright sunny days, Wednesday and Friday were grey, wet days.
I occasionally read the prayers for Rain and for Fair Weather in the Book of Common Prayer but I have to say that I do not experience any direct connection between my reading of those prayers and the weather itself. There is an often misquoted line from Ecclesiastes “the sun shines on the righteous” which might make me feel uncomfortable about this, but I am happy to confirm that the full quotation is “the sun shines on the righteous and the unrighteous equally, it makes not distinction!” so righteous or not, the weather we experience is not a moral judgment on us.
I feel fortunate to have grown up in a village with a forward looking, open minded and inclusive church. Prayer was very much thought of as contemplation, a pause for thought, open to a sense of connection with the widest possible perspective, generosity and love for creation, the wider world in all its rich cultural diversity and the people around you in the local community. That sense of prayer as connection and openness have stayed with me throughout my life and been there for me at difficult times.
The important thing, perhaps the only thing, is giving ourselves the time and space to keep a still centre, a loving heart, whatever happens; allowing others to help us when that is beyond our own resources to achieve.
I have very much enjoyed attending the family fun lunches organised by Laura Tasker on three Wednesdays this summer. They have been well attended and have been a great opportunity for families to meet during the long holiday and share time together.
September marks the beginning of our benefice Harvest Festivals, opportunities to celebrate and give thanks for our rural life and all it means to us. In addition, this September, on Friday 20th at 6.30pm St Luke’s Church, Simonsbath is hosting an evensong for the local festival of St Hubert, patron Saint of rural life and hunting, with relevant readings and music. Revd Neil Patterson is joining us to say a few words and the gathering will include refreshments. Everyone is welcome to all our Harvest and St Hubert events.
All the best