I’m sitting in the relative comfort of the parish office and am acutely aware that others are awaiting the arrival of Storm Christoph, which we have been warned will bring widespread flooding and significant snowfall. It looks like those of us who live in the South East will escape the worst of the weather. I can only imagine how awful it must be to have your home or business flooded, for many who will be affected this will not be the first time. It takes courage and stoicism to face that kind of threat. In the face of such catastrophe it is understandable if many throw in the towel – some do, there are many however who face the situation head on and rebuild.
The last twelve months have been challenging for churches everywhere, many churches have faced the situation with vision and courage, they have managed in new and innovative ways to communicate with their congregations and have kept the flame of faithful worship burning. I think that at St Nicholas we have risen to the immediate challenge, rolled up our sleeves and got on with it. It’s often when the initial crisis is over, when we have shored up the dyke and have an opportunity to pause and view the wreckage before us that we really see the enormity of the situation, that is when we need to be careful. At that moment the future might look bleak, even impossible, it’s a dangerous time and we might be tempted to give up, we mustn’t. With the rollout of a vaccine, it looks like the storm might just be abating and soon, we hope, the waters will abate. There will be damage done to the Church – to our church, so we need to plan for the future.
To continue with our image of emergencies, we will need to identify and assess the damage, then decide on what needs repairing and what is beyond repair. Some things will sadly need to be thrown away, even items which are cherished, but they can be replaced, some things will need to be repaired. I have asked our PCC to begin the process of looking to the future, please pray for them, ultimately we will all need to roll up our sleeves and get on with the repairs. I hope and pray that you will all be willing to help with your time and talents. I will be in touch.
As the Government urges people to “stay local”, St Michael & All Angels, Chiswick House, the Chiswick Book Festival and other local groups have launched ‘Exploring Chiswick’ – a wellbeing campaign encouraging residents to explore the local arts trails, either online (for those staying at home) or on foot (for those taking daily exercise). The Chiswick Art Trail, Writers Trail and ‘In Georgian Footsteps’ guides can be downloaded to mobiles or computers free of charge, as can the Chiswick House & Gardens Visitor Guide. You can read more and download them from: http://www.chiswickbookfestival.net/exploring-chiswick/ . This is a great opportunity for us all to learn more about our local area and I have already enjoyed following up one or two of these guides.
I have just received an invitation to a wine tasting event in aid of the Hogarth Community Centre Youth Project, based in our parish, and have been asked to share it with you. As you will see, wine will be sent to applicants in advance, followed by an online talk about each of them. This looks as if it should make for a fun evening and support a very worthy cause. The deadline for applications has been extended to February 5th. Please click on this link for further details.
With every blessing