Posts

December

Dear All,

Thank you to everyone who took part in the various events around the villages commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. I personally found it very moving to remember that these men (and their families) were from our villages, grew up round here, went to school in one of the village schools, and then gave so much for our sakes. Even those who returned un-wounded physically would never be the same again. I feel privileged to live in an area where so many people live who have also done much to make the world a better place for all of us, in small or large ways. 

If you attended one of the services, you will probably have been challenged to commit to working towards peace, healing and justice for all. It seems to me that that is the only suitable response to the suffering that we see around us; not to sit around  and hope for a better world, but to work hard to help it become one. And we don't need to wait for another war to start. It begins with our neigh…

November

Dear All

If harvest is a time for being thankful, November is the month for remembering. The month starts with the twin celebrations of All Saints (All Hallows) and All Souls, where we remember those we have loved and who are no longer with us. A few days later, on Remembrance Sunday, we remember those who died in the two world wars in particular.

Why do we remember? What is so important about setting aside special times for remembering?

First, we remember for their sake. We don't want to forget them . Maybe we even made them a specific promise, "I'll never forget you." That is certainly the promise that we as a nation made those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf during the wars. 'We
will remember them." That is also the reason why we use special materials on their memorials - not for them the usual materials which are intended to fade with time;
these memorials should last as long as our civilisation does. A special gift from a grateful nation.

But we…

A Special Service for Remembering the Departed

A Special Service for Remembering the Departed
The pain of separation from those who have died lasts many years. It is often a pain that is very personal, and which we cannot easily share. We would like to invite you to the above service in the hope that, by joining together with others who have lost loved ones, you may know that you are not alone in your grief and that you will receive some comfort.

On Sunday 4th November at 4pm we will be holding a service at St Andrew's Church in Heddington to pause and remember those who have died.

In the service, during a time of special prayer, we will mention by name all those whose funerals have been conducted by the Clergy in the Oldbury Benefice during the last 2 years, together with any other names given in before the service begins. Later in the service, everyone present will be invited to light a candle in memory of their loved ones and leave it burning on the altar as a visible sign of remembrance. .

We hope that the service will be a fi…

October

Dear all

It's harvest time, and all over the countryside churches and schools are being decorated with flowers and food to celebrate the successful completion of another year's hard work by our farmers. Once again, we will have enough to eat through the winter. As the old hymn has it, "All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin."

In our modern, interconnected world, where shortages in one place are met by importing from another, we may have lost some of that joy our ancestors experienced. True, those directly involved in farming can (hopefully) breathe out again as they get the reward for their labour, but it takes something like the carbon dioxide shortage we had this summer to remind most of us what it looks like when supermarket shelves are comparatively empty.

And that shortage was, I hope, a helpful reminder to all of us that the abundance of food we enjoy in this country is not a right, but a privilege; a blessing, perhaps. Because when we take things …

September

Dear all, The summer is now coming to an end, and whether you live by the school calendar or not, the arrival of September usually brings a change of pace. Even the hottest days turn cool relatively early in the evening, the fruit-picking season is coming to an end, and it is time to start getting the gardens ready for next year. For those who are still at school or university, it is a time of change, of finding your place at a new school, or adjusting to being a year older. It may be a year with important exams looming. Or maybe it is the first year with no school or university to go back to, of discovering the joys and pressures of independence. A new year is full of new challenges and new opportunities. It is a time to start again, with a blank sheet. But for some of the youngsters (and "not so young" -sters) in our villages, it can be a scary time as they face the unknown. Let's keep them in our prayers; we've all been there. And maybe as you clear out the green…