St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - June 2023

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.
Slowing Down.

The rhythm of walking has given me food for thought over the past few weeks and left me wondering what Jesus ministry, or the life of St Cuthbert and so many other early Christians, would have looked like in the age of the car!

Cars isolate us, they make us kings and queens of our own little private space and shield us from encounters with others, encounters with the elements or with the natural world.

In the gospels it is easy to forget the day-to-day details of the Jesus’ ministry and how much his life and work was impacted by the landscape he walked through.

Apart from the occasional donkey probably inserted for dramatic effect by the story tellers, Jesus’ time on earth was marked out in footsteps. Not airmiles or petrol station stops but by the distance covered on foot daily, in the lands we now call Palestine and Israel.

It is estimated that Jesus walked over 3,000 miles during his ministry;
putting one foot in front of the other, stopping to draw water, exchange salutations, resting in the shade was all a part of his daily routine.

On pilgrimage we often crossed paths with other walkers, meeting them again on the next hill or at the next stopover. We received extraordinary hospitality and shared countless conversations.

This was special for us, but for Jesus and the disciples this was part and parcel of daily life.

Many people walk to our church as part of a weekend activity and one of the joys of hanging about at Chaldon are the conversations with our many visitors.

We should never discount the impact of our open church on those who have left their cars for a while and wandered across our threshold, so if you do the flowers or clean or open and close or mow the paths or do Sunday teas, thank you – many people whom you will never meet benefit from your efforts.

This June as we move into ordinary time and Sunday readings take us through Jesus ministry once again, remember that God once walked on this earth and walks beside you now. If you can slow down a little you might notice God more in the people and places around you. Take a little more time to travel and a spend a little less time trapped inside your car – enjoy these summer months and occasionally, maybe try to fit less into the day.