The Benefice of All Saints Wretton with Stoke Ferry,
All Saints Newsletter
Rector: The Revd Canon David Kightley 01842 828104
Lay Ministers: Ruth Kightley, Keith MacLeod and Brenda Stewart.
For information concerning marriage, baptism or funerals please contact The Revd David Kightley in the first instance, the Churchwardens or Verger.
SERVICES FOR JULY 2005
3rd July Trinity 6
Holy Communion 17th July Trinity 8
Service of The Word
10th July Trinity 7
Matins 24th July Trinity 9
Service of the Word
31st July Trinity 10
Benefice Holy Communion
Wretton with Stoke Ferry
Churchwardens: Cleaning & Flower Rota
Keith Macleod 01366 500960 July: Mrs Durrance & Mrs Nicholas-Letch
Carol Nicholas-Letch 01366 500704 August: Mrs Russell & Mrs Willis
Verger: Trish Willis 07816 169308
If you need a lift to church please telephone the churchwardens or verger.
Christ Church Whittington
Churchwarden: Cleaning & Flower Rota:
Roger Warner 01366 500307 July: Mrs Pat Voutt & Angie
Verger: Trish Willis 07816 169308 August: Mrs Suzanne Warner &
Mrs Jenny Elsey
St. Andrew Northwold
Jane Luckman 01366 728921
Brenda Ayres 01366 728565
July 2005 Anglican Church Letter
I recently preached on God moving in mysterious ways - quoting that well known line from such a famous hymn that I cannot remember which one it is! - God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.
It is a fact that we cannot know what is going to happen next - even the weather forecasters with all their sophisticated techniques and technology cannot always get it right. Things take most unexpected twists and turns and consequences arise which are quite unforeseen. It is of course this that provides the basis for both unreasonable optimism and desperate pessimism. Throughout history some people have taken the view that they probably did not believe in God, but that if there is no God, what harm is done in believing in him, whereas if there IS a God, then who knows what harm will follow upon not believing in him. The proper precautionary thing to do then is clearly to believe in God and hope for the best. If only it were so easy!
I thought I might pass on a story told at the 1994 annual Forensic Science awards ceremony in the USA by the then President of the American Association of Forensic Science. I understand that this is a true story. It is a marvellous illustration of the dangers of taking anything for granted or of making assumptions, even based upon much evidence.
On 23 March 1994, a medical examiner was called to see the body of a man who had jumped from the top of a 10-storey building - presumably a suicide. He had, in fact, left a note indicating his despondency. However, when the body was examined the only damage it had suffered was a shotgun blast to the head, which was clearly the cause of death. There was none of the trauma one would expect for a body hitting the pavement after a long fall.
It emerged that he had been shot by a shotgun blast from a ninth floor window as he fell past it. The examiner concluded that the intention to commit suicide followed by death would still be defined as suicide, even though the nature of the death was not the intended one. However, it also emerged that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor of the building by building workers, so the intended suicide could not have succeeded. The examiner wondered if the death was then going to be a homicide or an accidental death.
Investigation showed that the shot had come from a room on the ninth floor where an elderly couple had been engaged in a vigorous argument, during which the man threatened his wife with a shotgun. He was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he missed her and the shot went out of the window just as the young man was passing. When someone intends to kill 'A', but inadvertently kills 'B' instead, this would normally be classed as homicide, even though the victim was not the intended one.
When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife both protested. It was a long standing habit of his to threaten his wife during arguments, but the shotgun was never loaded. There was no intention to kill her - it was just a terrible accident.
The investigation continued and turned up a witness who had seen the old couple's son loading the shotgun about 6 weeks prior to the shooting. It transpired that the old lady had cut off his financial support and he was furious. It seemed that he knew of his parent's bizarre arguments and he loaded the gun in the expectation that his father would then shoot his mother. Since the son, the loader of the gun, knew what would happen this was homicide. The examiner and the police had now been through suicide, homicide, accidental death and were now back to homicide.
When they tried to identify and find the son, they discovered that he was the young man who had thrown himself off the roof in despair at the apparent failure of his plan to murder his mother! So, as he died as a direct consequence of his trying to murder another, the medical examiner closed the case as one of suicide.
I have not tried very hard to find a moral in this story, which as a true story is actually very sad. As none of us knows any of the persons involved we can also allow ourselves to be amused by the way it all worked out. But I wonder how long the examiner kept the case open before he closed it, in case there was yet another twist in the tale/tail. The significance, rather than the moral, of the tale is in teaching us not to accept the obvious, not to accept anything as given, until we know as many of the facts as we can muster. Many people both in the USA and throughout the world were shocked by the acquittal of Michael Jackson (current news as I write) of all the terrible charges against him. UK news coverage of the trial was sensational rather than informative, so we know little of the actual evidence that was presented. Evenso it became more and more apparent that much of the prosecution evidence was tainted in one way or another. Even it was true it could not simply be accepted at face value.
When we try to decide whether we believe in God, we fall back on faith, which for many means belief or acceptance without evidence. In fact there is much evidence and as we grow in faith and investigate more deeply into the evidence, so our view of God changes and deepens. It is a difficult process - it is easy to become partial and narrow minded in our review of evidence and not to consider all of it and of all the arguments and discussions about it - but the process is exciting and for those who follow through, the time does come when doubts and confusions fall away and the real truth becomes apparent.
Licensed Lay Minister
Carol Nicholas-Letch/Keith MacLeoad