Letter from the Clergy

Clergy Article July 2022

I am still feeding on the effects of our National Holiday last month.   In the midst of all the international and nation challenges that assail us, I found it was wonderful to stop our normal preoccupations for four days to celebrate the life and service of our Queen and her influence upon our nation and our world.

 

What impressed me most was how so many people got involved in celebrating life in our communities.   Many stopped their normal routines to organise and enjoy street parties, times together, special services in places of worship including our beautifully decorated parish churches.

 

People in large numbers took the opportunity to emphasize the positive in our nation’s life and give thanks for our Queen’s memorable example of constancy and service for the past seventy years.   It has been a time of great social and political change and we are so blessed to have a Head of State who is above party politics.   The celebrations to mark her long reign were impressive both on a local and national level.   I will never forget the sense of affection and love in which she is held especially when hundreds of thousands sang the National Anthem for her whilst she stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of our four days of celebrations.

 

However, my abiding memory of those days was the sense of community commitment that has grown at this time: the sense of real neighbourliness around the many street parties, the sense of belonging and the gratitude for getting to know each other afresh.   Even in the midst of all the uncertainties of our world both near and far we have great blessings in our local communities.   Great opportunities for mutual concern is evident all around us.

 

I am mindful of the observation that hurricanes begin with the movement of a butterfly’s wings!   So following the days last month when we celebrated the Queen’s 70 year Jubilee, let us emphasise the positives that we learnt in our homes and neighbourhoods including the renewed interest and concern for each other.   We should continue that Christ-like loving which is concerned about each other’s true wellbeing and remember that from small movements great things happen.

 

It is my hope that local social gatherings will not just happen on national holidays but become part of the rhythm of our lives in the neighbourhoods of our parishes.   We have so much to share and so much encouragement to give to each other amidst all the challenges of modern life.   I do believe we are so fortunate to live here and it is good to see how much is shared here too with our newly arrived guests from the war in Ukraine.

 

Life is constantly changing and evolving for all of us.   We must look to the future with confidence and be as positive and hopeful as we were in those memorable four days last month.   We need such times to step back from the frenetic lives we usually live and to remind ourselves of the great gift of life lived and shared together.

 

 

Canon Michael Irving