21st July 2015

fr_simonDear Friends

So we come again to that time of year which I call the great Chiswick sleep. I love Chiswick during the month of August, everything slows down and there is time to thank and plan.

There is a lot of planning to do.
We need to plan our next phase in our Development Campaign.
We need to plan for the liturgical life of the church
We need to plan for our outreach.

It is clear to me that our Development Campaign has got off to a flying start, we must not lose the momentum. The next few months will be a challenge for all of us, there will be appeals for support and involvement from all of you.

If we are to succeed in our Heritage Lottery application we will need a much more concerted analysis of our heritage potential and how we might link up and coordinate with other heritage venues in the area, that is going to need volunteers please.

Another aspect of our life which needs consideration is our mission and outreach. Very soon our debt-counselling service will be up and running.  I would like to re-launch our  language project. The PCC at it’s last meeting thought it vital for a number of reasons to re-ignite our relationship with Chiswick School’s breakfast project with a donation of £1,000. If you can help with any of these projects please talk to me.

Obviously, this can only be achieved if it is offered to God in prayer. So my chief plea, is for your fervent prayers: that God might bless our work; in thanksgiving for all those who give so freely of their time and talents and for yourselves that God might equip you with the needful gifts and give you a vision of how those gifts might be best used in His service and to His praise.

Enjoy the summer.

Simon


Dear Friends,

There was an interesting announcement in the personal columns of The Times this morning. “Smith, Catherine Ann of Leeds. I am looking for you, we met in “Robin Hoods Bay” 1955. Could you please ring me on York, 01904 652190. Raymond Simpson”. Well, the mind boggles – or at least mine does. I wonder why Raymond is looking for Catherine 60 years after they met on the beach? Did they have a fling? Does he think he might have a child out there somewhere? In the last chapter of his life does he want to be reunited with the love of his life? Did they part on bad terms and he wants to make amends? Does he owe her money? Does she owe him money? How does he know if she reads The Times?  How does he know she is even still alive? So I did what any inquisitive curate would do and rang the number to try and find out more. But all I kept getting was an answer machine.

But the announcement in The Times got me thinking. Sixty years after they last met something had prompted Raymond to try to get in touch with Catherine. The lesson surely is that it is never too late to try to catch up with people, to try to make changes in your life, to try something new, to say “sorry” or “I love you”. To try, dare I say it, to walk a little closer to Christ or to try to hear what God might be saying to you. I hope Raymond hears from Catherine and the story has a happy ending.

Alice myself and the children are off on our holidays this week and I am also doing some holiday cover over August. If our paths don’t cross for a few weeks, a happy and safe and sunny time to everyone!

With every blessing,

Fr Andrew

STOP PRESS  As this e-bulletin was about to go out, Raymond rang me back. In a lovely deep Yorkshire accent, he told me that he was now 77 and had finished up working for York Railways and that Catherine would now be 73. Raymond had never married or had children. He said he had never stopped loving her and that “she was the one for me” and he wanted to see her before he died. “I’ve loved her ever since”….”She was a bonny little blonde”….”She looked just like a young Virginia McKenna”…”I would give anything to see her again”. So there we have it; let us keep Raymond in our prayers.