I hope you are all keeping safe and well? This second lockdown doesn’t seem to have quite the feel of the first, nevertheless, it is a lockdown and we should not be lulled into a false sense of security – please be careful.
The National Church has asked us to pray daily for the Nation,and for the Church and they suggested a time of 6.00 pm each day. I have taken the liberty of changing the time to 12 noon. You can find me on the St Nicholas Facebook page each weekday at 12 noon and of course each short prayer service remains on our Facebook page so you can view it at your leisure if you wish. It’s interesting and perhaps not at all surprising that the number of people who are interested in prayer seems to be increasing. Judging by the numbers of people who visit church each day, we seem to be averaging about 35-40 visits each day. There is a real hunger for a contemplative space which people can use and I’m glad we can provide such a sacred space. Prayer, as I’m constantly saying, is at the very heart of our relationship with God, it is the driver and sustainer of that relationship with him who created us, sustains us and loves us. There may be many good things which emerge out of this tragedy, perhaps we have discovered a renewed sense of community, of fellowship with our neighbours, perhaps we have been reminded just how precious and precarious our lives are and so behave appropriately. Perhaps we have also discovered our need for prayer and contemplation. Life, I find, always seems to run more smoothly after we have stopped, considered, and then moved on.
Do remember that we are also online each Sunday at 9.30am and each Thursday at 9.30am.
Stay safe and God Bless
Several of you have told me how much you appreciated the Act of Remembrance at St Nick’s on Sunday morning. I also watched on TV the very moving service from Westminster Abbey on Armistice Day itself as they marked the centenary of the Unknown Warrior’s burial.
The priest/poet Malcolm Guite wrote a sonnet on Remembrance Day in his book ‘Sounding the Sonnets’, reproduced with his permission below:
Here is how it came to be written. On Remembrance Day I was at home listening to the radio and when the time came for the Two Minutes Silence. Suddenly the radio itself went quiet. I had not moved to turn the dial or adjust the volume. There was something extraordinarily powerful about that deep silence from a ‘live’ radio, a sense that, alone in my kitchen, I was sharing the silence with millions. I stood for the two minutes, and then, suddenly, swiftly, almost involuntarily, wrote this sonnet.
November pierces with its bleak remembrance
Of all the bitterness and waste of war.
Our silence tries but fails to make a semblance
Of that lost peace they thought worth fighting for.
Our silence seethes instead with wraiths and whispers,
And all the restless rumour of new wars,
The shells are falling all around our vespers,
No moment is unscarred, there is no pause,
In every instant bloodied innocence
Falls to the weary earth ,and whilst we stand
Quiescence ends again in acquiescence,
And Abel’s blood still cries in every land
One silence only might redeem that blood
Only the silence of a dying God.
With every blessing