After spending the whole summer seeing signs in shops for ‘Back to School’ – which always seemed an age away – suddenly the reality has come and term starts again. After the time of relaxing and changes of routine, there is a sense of a new beginning and a fresh start. The weather certainly seems to have decided that as well – as after the weeks of hot weather we now have what is described as a ‘fresher’ feel and Autumn feels like it could be soon upon us.
I wonder how this turning of the year is marked for you? For us, it is the inevitable visit to the shoe shop for feet measuring and once again new school shoes; a visit to the uniform shop to get the new blazer and tie and a sorting out the new weekly calendar for the 3 of us – who is doing what when and who needs to be driving who where and when! In a week or two we will have settled into the rhythm and routine and the time for reflection and planning will have passed.
Likewise in Parish life there is that sense of fresh start and new ‘term’. The Ride and Stride, Coffee Morning and Nearly New Sale followed by Parish Bar B Q are the start, followed by the return of the Royal Marines and other events. But the rhythm and routine of Parish life is not just marked by these larger events. It is also the regular opportunities for prayer and discussion and for gathering together and sharing our life and faith. This year Harvest is in early October so September is a good month for us all to take stock and review our calendars and lives. Do we have all we need to help us and sustain us through the coming weeks and months?
We don’t have to go to the shoe or uniform shop, but perhaps we need to think about checking out our spiritual lives – have we enough space and time for prayer or reflection? Have we grown a little and so need some new things to explore and develop? What is the best rhythm for our life of worship – if Sunday mornings are difficult, then can we commit to another regular day and time to be with God and with others?
Perhaps use the start of the new ‘term’ to not only enjoy the Bar B Q or the music events, but also to look at your weekly calendar and ask where you can find that time and space for God. Look at the Parish Diary and see what you could try or become part of. If you want some help with this, if you would like an assistant to help, as we needed help measuring shoes and uniform to help identify the right thing, then please do talk to one of the Ministry Team. We would all be delighted to sit and talk with you about your needs and the support you would like or the activity or group you would like to be part of.
Don’t leave it too long, otherwise the rhythm and routine will quickly set and you might find yourself trapped and carried along without a chance to pause and reshape!
Best wishes,
Father Bob

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