News from the new representative for the Church of England
It is important that I comment on the Fete at Wretton on 17th May 2003. The day was blustery and showery - not very pleasant. Less stalls and Car Boots were evident than expected - no doubt the weather played its part. However, thanks almost entirely to the sterling preparatory work of our Churchwarden, Trish (Skinhead) Willis, we raised more than £1,100 towards Church Funds. Given the programme of work needed to protect, let alone to beautify, the fabric of the Church, this was such a welcome gift. Especial thanks are due to the folk of Stoke Ferry who came to give their time and all that they raised on the day. Even more special thanks to Trish again, for raising over £132 in sponsorship of her head shave in the Church at 3.00pm.
We are also very pleased to be able to report that the Churches are alive and well as we go into our Interregnum. Two experimental services on Sunday 18th May were a resounding success. 12 people turned up to an intimate and moving Holy Communion Service at St Andrew's at 8.00 am. For those for whom Sunday is a busy enough day without trying to fit a visit to Church in, this monthly service may be the answer. Later in the morning (at 9.30am in St Andrew's) we held a Communion Service by Extension, where some of the bread and wine, consecrated at the 8.00am service was used for an extension of that service with 7 or 8 further communicants. This was a service, very familiar in all its parts, but a little unfamiliar in some of its choreography - especially to the minister! Those who attended did not feel cheated of the important elements of the Communion Service and it seems that this will also now be a regular part of our monthly worship. All are welcome, even if only out of curiosity!
Most of our readers will be familiar with that beautiful sketch of hands at prayer by Durer. You may be less familiar with the story behind the drawing, which has been an inspiration for me for many years and I hope will be to you also:
When Albrecht Durer was a poor struggling artist, a friend of his who also aspired to be an artist, made an agreement with him that he would do manual labour to earn their living, while Durer studied and painted.
Later, it was planned, he should have his turn to paint. When success came to Durer, his friend's hands had become so twisted and stiff that he could no longer paint.
One day, seeing his friend's work-worn hands in prayer, Durer thought, "I can never give back the lost skill of those hands, but I can show my feelings of love and gratitude by painting his hands as they are now, folded in prayer, to show my appreciation of a noble and unselfish character."
In John's first Letter he says: Any one who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light . . . God is love . . . We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. . . Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
A child's prayer at this time of explosive growth in our gardens and farms:
Dear God in Paradise, / Look upon our sowing: / Bless the little gardens / And the green things growing.