As this issue of the magazine covers two months and we do not resume publication until September, it is possible that much will have changed by the time you pick up (and remember Outlook is now FREE!) our next edition.
Will we be able to go clubbing? (I do not put ‘again’ as I suppose some of our readers are past their clubbing days … ) Will the Church be full again? Will we be singing? Will all our groups be meeting in person? Can we forget our Zoom passwords? Will we continue to look out for neighbours and friends? Will we remember how we missed the warmth of a hug? Will England (or indeed Scotland or Wales) have won the Euros? Will a Brit have got to the final of Wimbledon? Will the current week of blistering heat be the whole of the summer, or will we have a hosepipe ban?
In the church we WILL have held the Flower Festival over the Bank Holiday, the APCM on 11th July followed by a hog roast, there WILL be the Church BBQ and swim, and services WILL take place every Sunday, plus the new Tuesday morning Communion Service.
The church WILL be open for visitors who wish to look at our lovely building or seek solace and time and space to reflect on all that has happened to the world or in their personal lives.
A church has been on this site since 1189 and has survived plague and revolution to minister to its community
A church has been on this site since 1189 and has survived plague and revolution to minister to its community. Our Vision Group is currently looking at what this church should be to this parish and beyond in the 21st Century. Over the summer, all residents of the parish will receive a request for their views on the role of our church. We encourage you to respond with ideas.
So, whatever the next two months bring, we hope we can look forward with hope and expectation, remembering and supporting those who have lost much, those who struggle and those who live in fear, pain or sorrow.
Christopher and Jane Tyrer
The editor for the September edition will be Susan Brice.
You have heard it said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
These radical words of Jesus are found in the heart of his Sermon on the Mount and can be found in Matthew 5:43-44.
The Sermon on the Mount encapsulates much of who Jesus is, His mission and purpose and would no doubt have caused more than a few sharp intakes of breath when He delivered these words.
Jesus offers a new kind of justice. A creative, healing restorative justice, not a settling of old scores, like an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth but a response of the heart characterised by love, forgiveness and compassion.
I cannot for one moment pretend that ‘love everyone’ always comes easily to me. The idea of having enemies seems quite old fashioned, and from a bygone age, or during times of war. But if we substitute that instead with other words, perhaps we might find it more relevant to us today:
Love the person who pushes into the queue in front of you in the supermarket, when you have been waiting patiently for 10 minutes;
Love the neighbour who keeps you awake at night with loud music;
Love the driver who causes you to swerve in your car to avoid hitting them when they weave in and out dangerously in overtaking you;
Love the family member who always make you feel guilty at family parties by asking you embarrassing questions…
Are you more likely to tell the person off who pushes in front of you in the queue, bang on the door of the neighbour, or call the police for a loud party, shout and hoot at a dangerous driver and tell the family member what you think of them, and be as rude back to them?
I am sure all those thoughts go through our minds instead, or is it just me?
Often in the heat of the moment our first reaction can sometimes be unhelpful, but once we have counted to 10, a more measured response can ensue, which can hopefully defuse the situation, rather than pour petrol on the fire, so to speak.
I wonder whom do you struggle with? How do you usually respond in difficult situations? How might these words of Christ provoke you into a more loving, compassionate and forgiving response?
A society which is characterised by Christ-like qualities will instinctively care for the more vulnerable members. Those in need of extra support because they are struggling to cope alone. In Jesus’ time the leper and others who were considered unclean were wholly reliant upon the charity of others in order to survive.
In 21st Century High Wycombe, we seek to give extra support to those who struggle to obtain food, medicine, need a lift to the hospital. Good neighbours, strong and caring neighbourhood groups ensure that no one is forgotten and those who need support are offered it. If we cannot help someone in need ourselves, more often than not we can signpost them to someone who can.
Our society has become more caring since Covid lockdown was imposed last year. My hope and prayer is that this kindness will live on.
Based on Keith’s homily 15th June
Sunday 11th July in church at 11.45 am
Following a combined Parish Holy Communion service at 10.00 am (booking required), which will feature the choir and organ, and be live-streamed on the church YouTube channel (youtube.com/hughendenchurch).
The meeting will be followed by a hog roast (with vegetarian options) at 12.45 pm: bring your own drinks. An informal outdoor lunch (subject to weather and Covid restrictions).
Book and select your food choice on ChurchSuite or contact Matt on firstname.lastname@example.org (APCM attendance not required).
This summer, on the 18th July, the annual Church Barbecue returns! Having missed out last year, we are delighted to be welcoming people back for a barbecue feast and, weather permitting, swim in the glorious swimming pool. The event will be held through the afternoon at Albany House, Stonefield Road, Naphill at 1.00 pm. We have great food and desserts, some prepared by different members of the congregation, to go along with the cooked food on the barbecue. We could also have sports competition with a small badminton court and football pitch, or even swimming races!
a great way to meet people
Having missed out of social activity for the last year, this is one of the first opportunities for our church to meet again outside of services. The barbecue has been one of our biggest social gatherings over the last few years and it was a great shame when it had to be cancelled last year. We’ve been lucky to always have great weather, and everyone has always enjoyed being out in the garden with great food. We are looking forward to bringing it back this year, even with limited numbers. We’ve found it’s a great way to meet people, especially those who attend different services and it has always been one of my highlights of the summer.
There is unfortunately a 30 person limit, because of Covid restrictions, so make sure you sign-up before it’s too late! Contact Anu on 07973 553291 or email@example.com
Lima is now shrouded in sea fog most of the time, as Peru is well into the winter season. Average temperatures of between 15 and 20 degrees may not seem particularly cold to us, but the grey dampness of daily fog and drizzle can make it feel chilly and quite depressing. In addition, the fog makes the city’s air pollution worse, as it traps the traffic fumes and other pollutants.
July 28th lightens the gloom each year, as it is Peru’s Independence Day, a national holiday, and a time for great celebration. Schools have two weeks off and families who can afford to do so escape from the city for a while. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Peru’s independence and this significant anniversary would have been marked by many special events which sadly will not now take place because of Covid-19. Fortunately, the situation is currently improving, even if from a rather desperate position, as the number of Covid cases is falling and vaccinations are gradually taking place. Schoolchildren will still have a fortnight’s break from their online lessons this year, and many families will escape to the countryside as usual, but schools are not expected to reopen until March next year, two years after they closed.
July 28th is also the date for the installation of the new president. The results of the June elections were as close as had been predicted, with Pedro Castillo (the extreme left-wing candidate) gaining 50.2% of the votes and Keiko Fujimori (the far right-wing candidate) 49.8%. Fujimori is currently challenging the results from some areas in the Andes which supported Castillo, though no evidence has been found to support her claims of fraud. With the country so divided, there have been protest marches in Lima, though thankfully, so far, no clashes and a peaceful transfer of power is much hoped and prayed for.
People in Peru were not allowed to go to beaches this summer because of the risk of overcrowding, but as winter has set in, the beaches are open again and practically empty. The Tester family, being British, think the winter temperatures are fine for a trip to the beach. Equipped with wetsuits, they are enjoying their Saturday visits to the seaside, and the sun even comes out occasionally to help them warm up!
The family plan to have an extended trip to the UK soon, travelling here in late July and staying until the end of the year. The journey and the hotel quarantine will be challenging with the three girls, but it will enable them to see family and friends in this country. We were fortunate enough to visit them in Peru in January 2020, but the last time the girls saw their cousins was in winter 2018-2019. They will be based in Kent, but will visit us in Naphill now and then, so you may even see them!
This will therefore be my last article about Peru, at least for the time being. Many thanks to all of you who have read and commented on them since May last year. Your prayers for Peru have been, and will continue to be, much appreciated.
Everyone knows about nettles. Everyone’s been stung by them. Everyone’s wary of them! A few people are more gung-ho! My neighbour in Ipswich used to pull up nettle weeds with his bare hands! But stalks and leaves can certainly sting most people. If you dig up the plant, you can safely hold it by its roots, (unless the wind blows its leaves round the back of your hand!).
If you “grasp the nettle”, i.e. grab it tightly with bare hands, it’s not supposed to hurt, and that’s become a metaphor for dealing firmly with difficult/painful situations. But mostly we avoid both nettles and dealing with situations!
Magnified nettle stalk
Now what about the nettle flowers? I don’t mean the pretty flowers on white deadnettle or red deadnettle: I mean those greeny-grey unspectacular dangly bits on the stinging nettles. The flowers don’t sting. (Famous last words?!). The tricky thing is to pluck a flower, without letting the stinging leaves flick round and get you. And thus I challenged people at our Nature Quest weekend (12th/13th June). And to prove the point, I demonstrated my bravado to several people. I don’t think they were entirely convinced, like me with my Ipswich neighbour!
However, the final time I did this, I realised my fingers were stinging most uncomfortably, and that lasted for more than 24 hours. I say, “final time”, because (unsurprisingly) I decided not to do that trick again, nor to challenge other people! So, if I’ve misled you, I do apologise!
Later I checked online: I couldn’t find a definitive answer whether flowers sting, but I did discover some interesting facts about nettles (read it yourself on Wikipedia or shorturl.at/eqvHX). They’re dioecious (I do love learning new words!) i.e. some have male flowers and some have female. I wondered whether one sex stings and the other doesn’t and I’d previously happened to pluck only the safe ones. I leave you to guess which would sting! Of course, Wikipedia doesn’t tell you anything so useful, so I’m none the wiser. Or maybe I am wiser, and more cautious.
Male and female nettle flowers
The photo shows a male clump and a female: male are pale, easy to remember, but I didn’t know they were different when I was merrily plucking flowers. Must look more carefully next time!
“Both stem (see photo) and leaves (no mention of flowers) are covered in numerous short, non-stinging white hairs and fewer larger hollow silica hairs (trichomes) that easily penetrate skin and inject a cocktail of irritant chemicals like a medical syringe.”
The wrens nesting in the porch obligingly flitted in and out
But going back to our NQ event, on a gloriously sunny weekend. Yes, we did see rabbits; and grey squirrel, magpie, buzzard, kites of course, both kinds of buttercup, tiny turquoise beetle (not yet identified), red spider mite, tortoiseshell butterflies on the nettles, and a beautiful cinnabar moth (see photo). The wrens nesting in the porch obligingly flitted in and out, and their babies showed their beaks occasionally.
JC club smelled elderflowers and foraged as far as the stream. Toddlers sang creation songs and admired slugs, before hunting pine-cones. Helen’s sermon used Jesus’s words “Consider the lilies of the field….” and the bible story of Job who was also told to consider God’s handiwork. If Jesus had preached at Hughenden maybe He would have said “Consider the wildflowers in the churchyard”. That’s what we’ve been doing, and finding admiration for the One who creates flowers, birds, bugs, butterflies, lichen, rabbits, and you and me.
As readers will be aware, St Michael & All Angels supports several different causes (details of which can be found on the website). Each month the Mission Support Group updates us, via Outlook, and via the dedicated notice board in Church. This month we have three very different charities reported on. The first two have been particularly impacted by Covid. The third relates to the Bible Translation work, which will be the subject of a visiting speaker on 25th July. Eds
On 8 May, 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Antananarivo — Madagascar’s capital. The jabs were received by the Minister for Public Health along with representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. The first doses are to protect frontline health workers, security forces and those over the age of 70. The vaccines were provided by the UN’s COVAX initiative, which plans to distribute two billion doses across low-middle income nations in 2021.
On 11th May, MAF pilots Ryan Unger and Wouter Nagel loaded the first 500 vaccines onto MAF’s Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, destined for a clinic in Marolambo — a forested region on the eastern side of Madagascar. The 40-minute flight saved a 2-week overland journey that is only possible in a 4x4 vehicle because of the poor-quality roads.
Two days later, Ryan and Wouter flew a further 6,500 vaccines for UNICEF across four remote destinations in the north: Antisiranana, Nosy Be (a tiny island off Madagascar’s northern coast), Ambanja and Ambilobe. The total flight time of 6½ hours saved around 2 days overland.
A further 14,400 doses reached 12 remote destinations on 15, 17 and 18 May along Madagascar’s north-eastern coast and the western Melaky region. Many of these locations have no paved roads and transporting the vaccines at the required temperature would have been impossible as the journey would have taken over a week.
Pilot Wouter Nagel, who recently arrived in Madagascar after serving MAF in South Sudan, said, ‘Flying vaccines in general is always a privilege for any pilot, whether they are measles vaccines or part of the worldwide effort to contain COVID- 19. The landscape in Madagascar is stunning and diverse. In one flight you see desert, tropical rainforest, ocean and mountains. It is easy to see why MAF is so needed here.’
Pause for prayer
Please pray for Madagascar – which has recently experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases. Pray for MAF’s team, our partners and those living in remote areas without access to the help they need. For those living in isolation, the pandemic only highlights the need for good healthcare.
MAF has delivered COVID vaccines in other parts of the world too. Sky News covered the delivery of vaccines in Lesotho in news story on 9th June – see: shorturl.at/cguy9
If you would like to donate to the COVAX initiative to vaccinate the world, go to: covaxamc.ctdonate.org
Two sacks of items were recently dispatched for recycling. Thank you everyone for your contributions over the last few months which resulted in funds of £220.40 for the Ebenezer Centre.
I am awaiting direct news from Uganda. In the meantime, I have read in New Vision newspaper that there has been severe flooding of four rivers in Kasese District.
Uganda is in a new lockdown after a surge in Covid infections and all schools have had to close once again. During the last lock-down the internet was also shut down. I will keep trying and hope to get news soon.
In the meantime, the recycling continues. Please see the notice in the porch about acceptable items, which are very varied, although one item has been taken off the list – laptops can no longer be accepted.
I will be pleased to have any donations you can make. Please keep turning your cup-boards out! I need to have at least 10kg, and no more than 30kg per sack! Contact me for further details on 01494 563470.
Our Mission focus. Wycliffe Bible Translators will be our Mission focus for the months of July to September and this article illustrates their work.
‘Your package will be delivered between …’
Gone are the days – at least in theory – of waiting at home all day for a package that might possibly arrive sometime in the next eight hours. Now companies can let us know exactly where our books or socks or paperclips have got to. But at the end of 2019, Wycliffe Bible Translators received news of a much more exciting delivery. The Flame (name changed for security reasons) Bible translation team in West Africa had sent an update: ‘The New Testaments with Genesis have rounded the Cape of Good Hope on a ship and are heading north to us.’
Imagine the anticipation of waiting for God’s word in your own language. The Flame is a group of about 500,000 people, and about 99% of them are Muslims. A few years ago, members of the team returned to their village to test the translation of one of the Gospels. They went to see the imam (Muslim religious leader) and asked him to listen to the text and correct any language that was unclear or unnatural.
The Word is very Powerful
During the reading, the imam was concentrating hard as he made comments about what Jesus was saying. On the third day, something seemed to be bothering him. The translator stopped reading and pointed out that he didn’t seem to be following. The imam responded, ‘I am following, it’s just that the word is very powerful, and it troubles me and makes me think about my life.’
At the end of the reading, when asked for his overall impression of the text, he said, ‘When you have finished translating and when our children read this, then this town will understand the truth and will change.’
May those words come true!
Wycliffe Bible Translators believe that God speaks directly to every man, woman and child through the Bible. But unless people have the Bible in the language they understand best, they cannot read his message of life, hope and salvation. Millions of people still do not have a single verse of Scripture. Let us take a closer look at the needs.
How many people have access to Scripture in their first language?
The full Bible is now available in 704 different languages, giving 5.7 billion people access to Scripture in the language they understand best. The New Testament is available in another 1,551 languages, reaching another 815 million people. Selections and stories are available in a further 1,160 other languages, spoken by 458 million people.
How many languages still need translation? There are currently 3,945 languages with no Scripture. 167 million people, speaking 2,014 languages, still need translation work to begin.
How many people have no Bible? 1 in 5 people, speaking 6,656 languages, do not have a full Bible in their first language.
What is the potential impact of work underway? 2,731 languages in 167 countries have begun active translation or preparatory work. Wycliffe and other partner organisations are involved in about three-quarters of this work.
‘If it were necessary to find a single turning point symbolising the movement of Christianity from the North to the South, a good candidate might be the founding of Wycliffe Bible Translators... This organisation has been the most visible promoter of Bible translation in the twentieth century. The translation of the Scriptures, in turn, may be the most enduringly significant feature of the global expansion of Christianity...’
(Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Mark A. Noll, 2000)
Hear about Wycliffe’s work
Neil Graham of the Wycliffe’s Church Engagement Team will be our speaker at services on 25th July. Do come along, or watch online, to hear more about Wycliffe’s work.
For further information see wycliffe.org.uk and for the ‘Flame’ story, see wycliffe.org.uk/stories/'the-word-is-very-powerful'
Mission Support Group
This month I am sharing this recipe for a lovely easy salmon dish that is delicious. It has always been a family favourite but for me no more sadly. At the beginning of the year I suddenly inexplicably developed an allergy to all fish even though I have eaten it all my life! It feels sad but there are so many other lovely foods to explore and sample and at least I can believe I am helping the environment. Enjoy it while you can!
4 thick salmon steaks
2.5cm/1inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into small thin slices
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into small thin slices
350 gr/ 12oz tomatoes peeled and halved or a tin of tomatoes
1 fresh red chili, de-seeded and sliced as finely as possible
1 small yellow or red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
4 cardamom pods, roughly crushed
400 ml, 14 fl oz tinned coconut milk
2 limes (juice only)
Handful of fresh mint
Put the salmon steaks in a fairly shallow ovenproof dish with a lid.
Scatter the ginger, garlic, tomato, chili, and pepper over and around the dish. Put the cardamom pods between the salmon pieces.
Empty the coconut milk into a bowl and add the lime juice and some salt. Pour gently over the fish and cover the dish.
Preheat the oven to 150c/300F/Gas 2. Put the dish in the Centre shelf and cook for 40 to 50 minutes until the fish is cooked. To test this, insert a small sharp knife into the centre of one of the steaks and it will be darker in colour when it is cooked.
Serve with rice or new potatoes and scatter the mint leaves on the top before serving.
Avid readers of Outlook (I am sure there are some!) will surely remember an earlier article on the philanthropic Countess who is memorialised by a marble plaque in our vestry. I had forgotten her links with Knaresborough in Yorkshire, until on a recent visit there, I saw a signpost to Conyngham Hall.
Turning swiftly right (after the requisite ‘mirror check and signal’ before my manoeuvre of course) I followed the sign, which took me along the River Nidd past a municipal carpark into the grounds of the Hall. The Dowager Countess, on purchasing the Hall, then called Coghill Hall, had changed its name to Conyngham House. Its name was, I imagine, upgraded back to Hall by one of its subsequent occupants, which include the local MP and the owner of the Mackintosh toffee empire.
Conyngham Hall (2021)
In April 1941 the hall became an annex to Harrogate District Hospital and was used as a temporary hospital for injured soldiers and in 1946 was sold to the Urban District Council of Knaresborough on 3 June 1946, for an estimated £17,500.
From 1965-68 the grounds housed Knaresborough Zoo and two of its animals were mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. (Simba was a male lion who weighed 826lbs in July 1970 and Cassius was a female python who weighed 220lbs and was 27'4" in length in January 1973) Some of the graves of the animals can still be seen in the grounds today.
The hall itself was opened as a business centre in November 1995, but the grounds continue to provide recreational activities, (pitch and putt, tennis, river walks and so on) for residents and visitors.
Hopefully the Countess would have approved!
I have bought a good few violins over the years. Several that were tiny fractions of the whole. They were all Chinese, of one make or another, and trundled backwards and forwards to school and music lessons. And then there was the European violin, from a German workshop. This one was a far finer piece of workmanship and the sound reflected this. Or, maybe, to be fair, it was also due to a great increase in skill and length of practice from the player.
I have always loved the look and the shape of string instruments, so maybe it is not surprising that the art work on the cover of ‘Lev’s Violin: An Italian Adventure,’ caught my eye in the bookshop. Blue and orange and with the violin depicted in a rather surrealist form reminiscent of Picasso or maybe Braque.
The book that I know by Helena Attlee is ‘The Land where Lemons Grow’ but I had not heard of this one. There seems to have been so much interesting, well written, non-fiction around of late, or maybe I am just rather more adventurous than I used to be. Anyway, this book was an excellent purchase. It is accessible and not too scholarly, but I am clear that I have learnt a lot.
Lev's Violin: An Italian Adventure - Helena Attlee
The book begins with the author having a chance meeting with a violinist, after hearing him play some Jewish Klezmer music. He says that his violin was made in Cremona but he has recently been told that in terms of money it is worthless. ‘Cremona and worthless’ is rather an oxymoron as the northern Italian city is the historical home of string instrument making, having been the home of luthiers such as Amati, Guarneri and later Stradivarius. Thus the nub of an idea is born and the writer decides to venture on a pilgrimage to try and sort out the life of this particular violin and why it has become an anomaly.
There follow chapters on violins at the Medici court in Florence, on the foundations of the trade of which Cremona violins would become an international commodity and the modern science of dendochronology, which allows accurate dating of the wood used to make a violin, even showing where the trees were grown. One surprise was to come across references to Occitania and the Occitano language of the mountain valleys in the Piedmont. To me these terms belong in southwest France, around Perpignan and Carcasonne and of course strongly within the novels of Kate Mosse: Labyrinth etc. Anyway, troubadours and musicians travel of course and would have done so throughout Europe, very laboriously, even centuries ago. This seems to explain the cross cultural Italian/French situation.
The later chapter on violins for church musicians was fascinating. During the 17th and 18th century when the now famous workshops of Cremona were supplying churches and cathedrals in Italy, and increasingly across Europe, with stringed instruments for church orchestras, the ecclesiastical powers insisted that these instruments were not signed by the maker. There was already at that time a growing market for strings from the workshops of Amati, Guarnari and Stradavarius and several others that were flourishing in Cremona.
The church authorities were anxious that an inflated financial market did not grow up around these instruments that were supporting and encouraging church worship. This edict reverberates to this day as it has meant that there are many violins within circulation that were indeed built by the great masters but have to be carefully identified as such as they are in effect anonymous.
This chapter reminded me of Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy as it deals specifically with a church band in a little Dorset church which is ousted by the new clergy in favour of an organ and choir. I have over the years had a love/ hate relationship with Hardy’s writing. In the 6th form, studying The Mayor of Casterbridge for A level, I devoured all the novels and some of the poetry, loving it all. My literature group friends and I were adept at making full use of the town library and it was excellent at filling in the gaps left by the somewhat underfunded library at school. I made a friend of the librarian in charge. He attended the local Roman Catholic Church which in the 1970s was undergoing change that was not universally popular. We sometimes discussed matters theological and I have a clear and fond memory of him saying, in a rather distressed fashion, that he had to believe all would be well and that when he reached heaven the angels would indeed be singing plainsong in Latin. I hope it worked for him. But I digress. Decades later I revisited Hardy and found it no longer worked for me. It seemed unbelievably depressing and frustrating. The books gathered dust on my shelves. So having decided to read Under the Greenwood Tree again, it was with more than a little trepidation. However, I needn’t have worried. It was alright. Indeed, in some parts quite jovial. Admittedly this novel is an early one and it is short, only about 130 pages. Country English churches in the 18th and 19th century were reflecting political movements of the time and of course had little or no knowledge of the goings on in Cremona or indeed in Italy at all. Church bands were at times considered raucous and unreliable, maybe because they often visited the pub beforehand and if the clergy were of a more puritanical nature then they saw a choir and organist as more manageable and docile. Yes well, there are plenty of stories that could be told about miscreant choirboys … but we won’t go there.
Most of us have been in situations where we are not in control, and we don’t know how to feel or how to react to our situation. We need help.
The most valuable gift you can have at those times – is time itself. Time to be ‘listened to’. Really listened to. But it is not easy to find someone who will ‘actively listen’ to you.
Think of the last time you were in the reverse position with a friend or a colleague, and they were talking to you. How easily do you recall what they actually said? Most of us are so busy getting our replies ready for when the person has finished speaking, that we don’t clearly hear their punch line.
With God it is different. We can take everything to Him; all our worries and cares and failures and faults. And He listens.
He doesn’t necessarily jump in with an instant, easy solution, but rather He promises to always guide us, if we ask Him, through life’s challenges, and He promises to never leave us. He often speaks to us through his written word, the Bible.
This last year, when many of us have been communicating with others by phone or Zoom, we get nervous if it all goes quiet. We feel the need to ‘nudge’ the other person, to make sure they are still there. Silence is not a natural state for many of us – and yet it is in the quiet we can hear ourselves and God most clearly.
So, when we talk with God, our conversation should not be rushed and one-sided. We need to give space to our silence before Him, to wait and listen for Him to speak to us.
Next time you worship in church, listen to the silences: the spaces between the words, the music and the actions. Listen to all the prayers that are spoken.
Look at your surroundings and reflect that they have absorbed thousands of prayers – and holy silence – down the centuries of their existence.
Look out the window and see the vastness of the sky above you – and let your prayers join with those that have gone before you. May the knowledge that you are not alone encourage and strengthen you.
From the Parish Pump
Reflections & Memories of the Last 18 Months
Sunday 12 noon - 4.30 pm
Saturday & Monday 11.00 am - 4.30 pm
Experienced or not, all are welcome to take part.
Entry is free for participants and visitors, and tea, coffee and home-made cake will be served in Church House and MU garden.
Donations for Church Funds will be very much appreciated.
To participate, please contact Sylvia Clark on 01494 562801 or firstname.lastname@example.org by 7th August.
Work has begun on the construction of Nightingale’s Rainbow – a new sculptural installation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury - which will stand to pay tribute to the community spirit and kindness shown across the communities of Buckinghamshire during the pandemic and will be a permanent symbol of hope in the face of adversity.
This is the planned design of Nightingale’s Rainbow which is currently under construction.
Alongside the physical structure, a Virtual Nightingale’s Rainbow has been created where you can show your personal appreciation and support for anyone who has supported you or your community through the crisis by buying a Rainbow Tile in their name. You can leave a personal message of thanks which will be added to the Virtual Rainbow and put up on displays across Buckinghamshire later in the year.
Each Rainbow Tile costs £20, with the pro-ceeds split between Buckinghamshire NHS Charitable Fund (buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/charitable-fund) and Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity (fnhospice.org.uk) to support nurses, other healthcare workers and patients across the county as we recover from the pandemic.
You can purchase a Rainbow Tile and leave your personal message of thanks and appreciation at a nightingalesrainbow.org.uk.
Dear Friends, how I have been enjoying sitting in my garden with a good friend, a cup of tea and roses all around. My favourites are the very deep, dark red ones that smell rather like Turkish delight. I’m partial to a box of that at Christmas I am. I can always tell when my granddaughter Ruby has sneaked an extra piece as she has icing sugar all round her mouth. But never mind.
Summer jobs for the garden:
Remember that pots and containers are totally dependent on you for water. Don’t let them completely dry out.
Take cuttings from your perennials.
Continue to tie in and train new growth on climbing plants.
Deadhead sweet peas regularly to keep them blooming.
Keep an eye out for pests. A spray of weak washing up liquid and water works quite well.
Ensure tall plants are well supported.
After this strange and awful time we’ve all had, maybe it would be a good idea to try and hold onto some of this summer, well into autumn and winter. Save lavender to make into pretty lavender bags for Christmas fairs. Think about making jam from your soft fruit or maybe bottling some fruit for a taste of sunshine in January. MacGregor enjoys the homemade chutneys and pickles with a plate of cold meat on Boxing Day and they do seem to make nice gifts too, very acceptable I find.
Ruby is enthusiastic about the homemade idea and she decided to make some little bottles of scent for presents. I watched the weird concoction being mixed together, as many weeds as rose petals I think. Not quite sure how that will all smell by Christmas.
Enjoy the sunshine and hold onto the good times,
Reconnecting at Lindengate
With the warmer weather upon us, Lindengate is in full bloom, with an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife across our 5 acre site. Our kitchen gardens are flourishing and it looks like another great year for produce, which will be harvested and turned into delicious jams & chutneys, as well as being sold locally.
With many businesses working towards bringing their teams back together again, after over a year of working virtually, now is the time to reconnect. At Lindengate, we believe the natural environment contributes to building resilience and improving well-being, so why not arrange your next team meeting at Lindengate? Bring refreshments or a picnic and take time to re-engage, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. We also welcome local community groups. Get in touch to book ahead if coming with a larger group - email@example.com.
We are open to all, so drop in on Mondays & Wednesdays, 4.30 pm - 7.30 pm and Saturdays 1.30 pm - 4.30 pm and come and see for yourself! For full details of all our programmes, go to www.lindengate.org.uk
Lindengate is a Buckinghamshire-based registered charity that offers specialised gardening activities to help those with mental health needs in their continuing recovery.
Operating from a 5-acre site adjacent to Dobbies Garden Centre in Wendover Lindengate offers a wide range of gardening/horticulture activities so that users can spend time in a managed and calm and safe environment, either singly or in small groups, working towards recovery.
The name Lindengate comes from mixing the Old English name for a Lime tree – ‘Linden’, known for its recuperative and stress-relieving properties and the ‘Gate’, symbolising passing through on the journey to recovery.
Have you ever suffered from gossip? Ever discovered that people are saying some really wild things about you? If so, Joseph of Arimathea would understand – and sympathise with you. This decent, godly man of the gospels seems to have fired the imaginations of all sorts of odd people down the centuries.
Joseph was a rich, prominent member of the ruling Jewish council – the Sanhedrin. Mark’s gospel describes him as having been ‘waiting for the kingdom of God’ for years, and even being a secret disciple of Jesus. He played no part in the trial or crucifixion.
When Jesus was pronounced dead, Joseph had the seniority needed to approach Pilate for the body – and get it. Near to where Jesus had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, cut deep in the rock. Joseph himself already owned it – and it was still new and empty. So Joseph laid Jesus there, and wrapped him in a linen cloth, according to Jewish burial custom. Joseph did not bury Jesus alone – Nicodemus helped him, while some women who had followed Jesus trailed miserably behind.
Matthew tells us that the last thing Joseph did for Jesus was to sadly roll a big stone across the entrance to the tomb, and then go away. With that, Joseph passes out of history – and into legend. For in the centuries that followed, Joseph was swept up into the Legend of the Holy Grail, the Legend of Glastonbury, and even bits of the Arthurian legends. It was said that the Holy Thorn, which flowers at Christmas, had sprung from his staff.
The mind boggles at what Joseph would have made of it all. One suspects he would have preferred to stick to the simple, but far better, true story: as having had the immense, unique privilege of laying the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb. Even if Jesus didn’t stay very long!
From the Parish Pump
Outlook is published 10 times a year and contains information about our church services and activities, local events, news from the vicarage, pages for children plus a variety of articles sent in by individuals ranging from wildlife, cookery, poems, thoughts, humour and observations about this and that – in fact there is a mixture of the spiritual and secular which is right and appropriate, all being part of God’s world.
‘Outlook’ goes to many homes where sermons do not, so it is to be hoped that as well as being informative and entertaining it will always show something of God’s love and compassion, forever constant in this rapidly changing world.
It has been remarked that the magazine reflects the loving relationship that exists in our congregations, and we do so warmly welcome you to share in this.
The magazine can always be found on the shelves to the left of the font. Please do pick one up every month as it will contain all the up to date information you need as well as useful telephone numbers and administrative information.
The magazine is published monthly, except for August and January. Articles for the magazine can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is the 15th of the month. If you would like one delivered then please contact Andrew Cole.
Magazine Distribution & Delivery