July 2022

Church Privilege.

It is surprising the reactions to a service in church. To some services, there are "thank you"s, to some "I wanted more Theology" or "Not too academic", to some "the children will be put off", or "we want more child friendly" or "I want traditional language" or "I want modern language", or "it's too long" or "too short", "more music", "less music" and of course there is the situation where when the clergy person or the person giving the address joins a group, there is an obvious silence. It can be there is the situation where some or all the above responses are made to the same service. I am sure I am guilty of thinking most of these at some time during my life.

Now if it is suggested criticism is hurtful, it may result in the person making the criticism saying, in an aggressive/defensive manner: "Well I am just saying what I think." Or "I am just being honest."

The result of hearing the above after hours of research, reading and prayerful thought, not to mention working into the night, or using time that ought to have been with partner or family (don't we often say we never get these times back) may be equally varied: sometimes someone being very upset, having tried their best.

I believe when we are in Church, we are conscious we are in God's presence. I believe if I open my ears and listen I will hear God, perhaps not in the way I first thought or in the way of my youth. I believe if I am fortunate to be in a Benefice with different types of service, I am privileged to have the choice, as well as the choice of various Zoom technologies. And, in those many times when my concentration wanders, I am forgiven.

As we are in our vacancy, and hopefully receiving a new incumbent, I am reflecting on my response to encouraging and listening. Also I am reflecting on how I might receive a new incumbent, if not "ideal" or "perfect" for me, perhaps just right to bring others to God or closer to God.

Please keep us all and especially yourselves, in your prayers as together we try to find the saint we are looking for, although some of the saints seem as if they would be very difficult to live with.

Best wishes.

Ian Walton

Forcett Churchwarden

PS If you asked me to take into account all the above reactions in preparing a service, I might well end up stark raving bonkers (or being more polite, more eccentric) by the end of it.


June 2022 Letter

An appreciation of Rev Camilla at her final service.

May 2022

A final letter from Revd Camilla

April 2022

An April reflection from John Hodges

March 2022

Archbishop Welby's 'Thought for the Day' following the invasion of Ukraine

February 2022

A letter from Rev Camilla

January 2022

Looking to the New Year

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