St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - October 2022

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.

‘Autumn Story’ is a 1980 children’s book, the third of the four seasons in Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge series.

In it the young mouse, Little Primrose, wanders off and finds herself in unchartered territory. In the picture at the head of this newsletter you can see this territory illustrated and, hiding under a toadstool you can just make out little Primrose Woodmouse hiding, lost and alone. As I write, ‘Unchartered territory’ feels like a good description of Autumn 2022…

In the story a search party is set up and everyone sets out in the gathering gloom to look for Primrose; it is a tale reminiscent of the lost coin and lost sheep parables of Jesus and just as in the parables there is great rejoicing upon her return home.
Primrose is found and brought back to the giant oak tree where she
is dried off and warmed up and where the Harvest Supper can go ahead after all, as everyone celebrates her safe return and the hedgerow fruits and nuts are gathered in.

It is easy to be despondent at this time of year as the nights draw in, the heating bills go up, and food prices escalate; it is easy to be overwhelmed by the economic forecasts and the world news.

You may feel you are peering out on a world full of doom and gloom like the little mouse in the picture at the top of the page which is why we need our church community like the community of Brambly Hedge to bring us together and help us to remember that God never gives up on us or on the world, but seeks us continuously, embraces us, and guides us back to the great feast which we glimpse in moments of unity and clarity here on earth. So, as we continue to gather for worship and fellowship and as we find inventive ways to stay warm and solvent let’s keep our hearts and hands open for those who find themselves lost and afraid and unable to make ends meet this winter. Let us do all we can to seek the lost and fearful like the hedgerow creatures who set out in search of Primrose.

Can we gather them to us and by working to alleviate poverty bring the hope of the gospel to those who feel abandoned and overwhelmed as the winter approaches? It is at times like this that the church can show the way and be prophetic when those in power fail so catastrophically to share fairly the fruits of all our labour.