Churches in this Benefice follow the C of E safeguarding policy

September Letter

Dear Friends and Neighbours,            
What a Spring and Summer we have had!   Very warm so early in Spring.   The lockdown!   Hardly any planes overhead.   Much clearer air.   More insects and so better pollination and lots of fruit on bushes and trees.      
And now as I am writing this, in the first half of August, already the first signs of Autumn are approaching.   There is a horse-chestnut tree between my garden and my neighbour’s garden.   I can see green spiky balls on the ground and hear the thud of them landing.  I have not yet checked how developed the conkers are, but then I am not a child waiting to play with them.       
On a less cheerful note there do seem to be a lot more planes overhead and more cars on the road.        And so the cycle of the seasons goes on, and so do our lives move forward.  So much has happened in what seems like a short time.  For some of you there will have been the enjoyment of a rest from a hectic life; for others there will have been too much to do.  For some of you there will have been loneliness and separation from family and friends; for others a chance to spend more time with family.  For some of you there will have been personal tragedy and loss of a loved one; others will have been spared this.    
Each one of us is a different person; each one of us has our own life to live.  The prophet Jeremiah about two and a half thousand years ago said  that he had heard God speaking to him and saying “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart –“.  None of us are Jeremiah, but the same applies we are each an individual made in a different way to be a particular person.      
 But returning to more practical thoughts.   In September we will be celebrating the Harvest twice, once at St.James’,  High Wych at 9.30am on Sunday 20th and again on Sunday 27th at 11.15am at St Botolph’s Eastwick.    At both services we will be collecting for the Bishop of St Albans Harvest appeal, “Creating a Buzz in Nepal”.    The aim is to boost beekeeping there in regions badly affected by two earthquakes in 2015.     The disaster may seem a while ago but a region and its people take time to recover and the appeal has taken time to set up.  There is room for the introduction of a great number of bees.  The bees will help the environment to recover by pollinating crops, fruit bushes and flowers and at the same time will provide an income for the people through the sale of the honey. Though we cannot have harvest lunches in a church this year you will still be welcome to attend the services.               

When I started to write this letter it was hot and sunny.  Now it is cooler and raining.  Just as the seasons move on so we too are on a journey.  It is this journey, the journey for each one of us through our own life, that seems to be the main thought in my mind at this time.  It is a journey towards peace though stages of it may not be peaceful.           

In the gospel he wrote the disciple John quotes Jesus as saying “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.       The next few months may see life return to something like normal or we may see more restrictions and upheavals.  We do not know. It is my prayer for all of you as well as for myself that we may be able to make our journeys in peace.       
 May God’s blessing be on us all.         Judith.   (Reader).

(followed by a bring your own picnic lunch)    
everyone is welcome