I do hope that you've enjoyed some sunshine and have felt the benefit of a change to the normal routine, if not perhaps a holiday as such. Instead of using August to relax a little and catch up with a few personal things, I've been busier than ever as, with my sister,we have been emptying the home of a long standing family friend who died at the end of July.
The whole experience of having to sort through personal papers and treasured possessions has brought into sharp focus just how much we collect over the years and how we can't bear to part with certain items that hold special memories for us. We've had to be quite determined in our efforts to clear the house for it to be sold, but it has taught us both a salutary lesson about having frequent de-cluttering sessions!
According to the house clearing agent who came to remove the last of the effects the charities couldn't take, the task that many relatives face is absolutely overwhelming. Perhaps we should be more aware of taking the responsibility for ordering our own affairs whilst we can. If nothing else, make a will and sort out the family photos!
Our time on earth is finite and we should enjoy all that motivates us and is important to our well-being. Our spiritual health is every bit as important as our physical health. For us to feel fulfilled and energised to live life in all its abundance, we must be comfortable with where we are in relation to God our Creator. People of faith have a sense of being guided along life's pathway and despite what obstacles are met, new directions open up to help overcome them. The Parish will move into a new phase this autumn and I commend to you the opportunities there will be for exploring further and expanding our relationship with God.
This is the right time to think about the direction we want our churches to move. If they are to be places of vibrant community worship and associated activity, then we must personally make sure this happens. Village life has always, in the past, centred around the church as its focal point and I sincerely hope it will continue to do so in an updated and relevant form.
We continue to provide for the rights of passage for the whole of the community we serve and we want there to be an ongoing contact and involvement with the people who come to our churches for baptisms, weddings and funerals. Welcoming churches thrive and grow and we have seen this begin to happen. The harvest festivals are a great time for inviting and welcoming newcomers to parish life.
Do enjoy the remaining part of the summer and look forward with renewed enthusiasm to the autumn programme to follow.