St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - September 2023

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.

As the harvest is gathered, as the leaves begin to fall from the trees,
as all things which gave the summer the look of vigour come to the end of their season,
may I be reminded of the life-giving aspect of letting things go when their time is up.
From: The Celtic Year by David Cole

September is a transitional month, a time of change as summer turns towards autumn and holidays turn towards term time, of course these transitions affect some of us more than others. Those who work outdoors and those who work in education will be most affected but even the rest of us notice the changing seasons.

So I wonder, as the trees drop their leaves in a shedding that will bring regeneration, are their things that we could shed, in our personal lives, in the life of our community?

For instance because of lockdown, for a while we shed our rotas but maybe seeing the burden this places on our Churchwardens we should bring them back…

Memories of loved ones, empty seats at the table, unreasonable expectations, old wounds resurfacing in ourselves or in our relationship with family and friends.

Let’s face it, joy can feel precarious and life itself can feel precarious. So, as you journey towards Bethlehem and beyond, remember that God knows about precarity……after all no sooner was the joy of the incarnation recognised by angels, shepherds and wisemen, then it was interrupted when the Holy family were forced to escape to Egypt as refugees from Herod’s murderous intentions. As once again the time comes when we are invited to welcome the Christ child into our hearts, so too we are called continue the work of Christ. This work is indeed about sheltering the needy, feeding the poor, healing the sick but it is also about withdrawing a little to nourish our souls, to recognise as we approach Bethlehem that we have our own spiritual needs and find ways to be contemplative, ways to wonder and to rejoice that whatever happens this Christmastide, God is with us.

Our schedule of services is there to provide for you the time and space to step back from the secular ‘magic’ and step into the true mystery of Christmas – we hope to see you often over the coming weeks so that we can truly journey together.

On behalf of myself, the Churchwardens and PCC may I wish you a Joy filled Christmas and a Happy New Year.