LETTER FROM THE VICARAGE
On this page we reproduce the monthly letter from our Vicar (or occasionally from our Licensed Reader Janice Taylor) as it appears in our parish magazine, the Parish News.
Letter from the vicarage
FROM THE VICARAGE - JULY 2019
Are you ready for July?
Wow – it's going to be another busy month!
June and July are always busy months for weddings, as you may have noticed if you've heard the bells ringing out on a Saturday afternoon. Weddings mark a new beginning in a couple's relationship, as they always have done, though perhaps in a different way today than they did in the past. Traditionally weddings marked the point in a relationship when couples left home and began a new life as husband and wife. These days weddings are an affirmation of an already existing relationship, but is nevertheless still a new beginning. Even though couples may have lived together for many years, there is still the excitement and joy, and overflowing love (and the odd tear – usually from the groom!) as they come together to say their vows. Some would say that's the wrong way around, but there's arguments for both. Either way, we should rejoice that couples still want to get married in Church.
None of the couples I've married since I've been here have actually lived in the parish. Many have grown up here and still have family ties to the villages, but we also have couple who surf the web to find a wedding barn and then book the church. Again, some would say that that's the wrong way around. But in all honesty, I really don't mind. To qualify to be married here, these couples need to attend church once a month for six months before their wedding. If I'm honest, a good many of them may smile sweetly when they hear that, but you can tell from their faces they're not exactly overjoyed at the prospect! And yet by the end of the six months, they all say how lovely our church is and how welcome they have felt. So if we have played a small part in helping break down any adverse preconceptions about 'Church' then we have lightly and lovingly shown the love of Jesus to them.
I often hear folk say that 'it's all about the pretty church', but these days, it's really not. These days you can be married in all sorts of stunning locations, and as lovely as our church is, it's not as dramatic as a castle or as luxurious as a grand Manor House. No, couples choose to get married in church because that's where they want to be married. Even couples who don't usually go to church, or speak of their faith, still say that they want to be married in church because they want a 'proper' wedding. So actually, there's a bit more going on here than we may have first thought.
These young people are part of the first generation that didn't have prayers and hymns in school. Many wouldn't even be confident enough to say the Lord's Prayer without the words! And yet …….. they still have a sense that 'God' and 'Church' carry an authority that makes their wedding 'proper'. They won't, and don't, have the 'religious' language to express quite what they mean by that, but they sense it anyway – and it's our privilege to give some substance to that sense in the time we have them in our care. We can but sow the seeds, and pray that they will grow and bear fruit. So their wedding is indeed – we pray - a new beginning.
July is of course also a month of endings – most importantly, the end of the school year. Whoop, whoop I hear many a child cry! But for some it is also the end of their time at Primary school as they move up to 'big school' and that can all seem very daunting, so our prayers are for them as they get ready for a new beginning.
With the school holidays coming up, now is the time to think about adding a few 'pack-lunch' type contributions to the Foodbank collections to help support families who would normally have free school meals. There are baskets in both Churches and Village Stores which support our local families first, and then any extra is sent to Family Support Work to distribute further afield in Sussex. All contributions are welcome, and thank you for your amazing support, it really is appreciated.
We wish all our youngsters and school staff a restful summer break.
Now, there's something else going on in July ……… Oh yes – 'Because we Care'.
After all the months of planning we're finally having our ambitious Community event to raise funds towards the reordering of Holy Trinity and other village projects.
By now, every household in Kirdford, Plaistow and Ifold should have had a leaflet through the door giving more details of the event, which also gives information on the temporary road-closures for the 5K and Carnival, apologies if you have not, they are available in the churches and Village Stores.
It is going to be a great weekend and I do hope you have had a chance to either sign-up on-line or buy tickets from the Village Stores for one or more of the amazing array of activities throughout the weekend – run against Lord Seb Coe in the 5K, experience the Monaco Grand Prix in the Mclaren F1 Simulator, party with Murdoch's Crazy Eyes – if not, there's still time to do so. But not everything needs booking. Over the weekend you can take in the beauty and scent of the Flower Festival in Holy Trinity, and on Sunday, laser shoot Clays with Peter Wilson, cheer on the carnival and Vintage Cars, or saunter round the Green and Winterton Hall enjoying the many stalls and displays, all ending with the 'Big Sing' with our school choir and the Rock Choir. There are Food stalls available all weekend, along with teas and coffees, and just maybe a beer tent …
I do hope you can be there; this is all about having fun together as a community, and hopefully raising a few bob whilst we do so.
I'm praying hard for good weather !!