30th September 2021

Dear Friends

You can tell that  Autumn is upon us when we have already got to the second round of the Great British Bake Off and it’s only the 30th of September. I’m sure you all have your own favourites, my money is on Jurgen and Giuseppe. Thinking of baking, congratulations are due to Janet Lucy and her team who have raised over £1,200 at their MacMillian Coffee Morning in church last week. That is quite an amazing result – well done!

I’m sure you cannot have missed the scaffolding which now surrounds the North elevation of the church and also covers the South porch. The work to conserve the stonework will last approximately 20 weeks. We have installed lights at the entrance to the church, but do be careful and you enter and leave church. Thankfully the interior of the church is untouched and so our activities will continue as normal.

This Sunday we welcome Mother Sarah Lenton as she preaches and presides at our 10.30am Family Mass. Mother Sarah will be talking about God’s holy angels, I do hope you will join us, it was wonderful to see so many children at church last Sunday. My thanks to all those who lead and teach at Children’s Church.

I’m now off to try and get some fuel for my car – pray for me!

Simon


Dear Friends

I have just returned from an 8-day silent retreat at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre, located in the glorious countryside of North Wales. The priest poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) lived here from 1874 to 1877.  During this time he wrote at least two poems praising God and His creation, although they were not published until some years after his death. One of these poems, ‘Pied Beauty’ was read at our Back to Church Songs of Praise service earlier this month. Another, possibly less well known, is entitled ‘God’s Grandeur’  and I have reproduced it below. Hopkins uses such wonderfully rich language and images and they are a delight to read out loud.

God’s Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
   It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
   It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
   And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
   And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
   There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
   Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs–
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
   World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

With every blessing
Mother Eileen