The Rector's Link Magazine Article – August 2020

Clearly what you all need in this months’ edition of The Link is an update about what I’ve been doing in the Rectory garden during the long, light evenings since March.  Great industries have been setup in the name of Christ – well perhaps not with such divine power, but good all the same! 

A new pond has been constructed with a fountain, ornamental stones, a terrace with a swinging chair and great variety of aquatic plants (the dog likes to swim in it).   I’ve plumbed in a 50meter water link to the bottom of the garden so I can better cultivate things down the far end, revived the electrics in the shed and turned it into a workshop, painted everything, trimmed everything, re-grassed large areas, deer-proofed the boundaries, and created a wild-flower meadow.  There is still more to do – but isn’t there always?  My current project is to prepare the very bottom of the garden for growing tree saplings from seeds, so that I can provide them to local schools for environmental projects.  I even floated the idea of getting a couple of little pigs to keep in a pen down the bottom, but Mrs Bessant said no.  To ensure I don’t grind myself down into the dirt I added to my collection of garden power tools to help me get it all under control.  Surely every man needs more tools for his workshop?  Lockdown projects - what fun it has all been.  But now the-times- they-are-a’changing…

As I sit to write in the first weeks of July there is a furious amount of activity going on towards re-starting gathered church services, besides school services, children’s activities, funerals, weddings, baptisms and everything else besides.  It’s not just a case of unlocking the doors and getting on as before, because the hygiene and distancing rules dictate that everything has to be considered from a safety point of view.  There is no compromise on that, so when you do return you can have high confidence that we are doing all we can to provide a safe environment.  All being well, we plan to begin on 2nd August with 8:00am and 10:00am services.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you that there will be restriction on numbers for services, so you shall need to book-in.  Keep a sharp eye on the parish website and the Sunday Notes sheet for emerging details, and I’ll be making plenty of verbal announcements too.  Another important area for us is to commit to continuing the live streaming of Sunday services, so those unable to be in the churches can still be part of the worship.  There is a technical project underway to achieve that, which is well in-hand.  The leadership team here in the parish have put aside July for planning and testing everything, so over the next three weeks there is much to do.  Please pray for us and our efforts. 

Our wonderful Creator God is really the one who makes all my clunky garden efforts grow into something beautiful.  At best I am just His labourer.  That truth counts for churches regathering too.  We can shift the chairs around, but nothing will work unless God fills the churches with his Spirit.  I am reminded that activity alone is never enough in God’s Kingdom.  Hope, prayer and openness to what God wants to do is the order of things right now, and long may it stay that way.  I enjoy being busy and active, but it’s those slow quiet times which achieve the most.  Most of you know that better than I do.

I am so looking forward to welcoming you back through the doors again.  Just a little while longer now.  Thank you all for your patience and encouragement.

God bless you all.

Rector Chris