Stanwick Group of Churches

August 2021

The last fifteen months have been a time which many of us we will not look back on with affection.
There have been all sorts of increased pressures , uncertainty at work, difficulties with home
schooling of children, isolation and lack of social interaction and the huge fear of a disease
which can kill loved ones. But there have been some positives.

Pressing the pause button on busy lives has given some people a chance to re-examine their
priorities. Some have concluded that they need to rethink their work/life balance. They have
rediscovered the joy of having both parents fully involved with their children’s upbringing and may
be planning to change their careers to adapt to this change in their thinking.
Others, livings as we do in a beautiful part of the country, have found joy in the great outdoors
and there have never been so many cyclists on our country roads and walkers on our footpaths.

And others have begun to question whether the hamster wheel of chasing the material things in life
at the expense of everything else is the right way forward. Although perhaps they have not yet put
it into words they may be beginning to question whether there might be a spiritual dimension to our
lives which lies beyond the material and the tangible. But they are perhaps stuck when it comes to
knowing how to take this thinking forward.

May I make some suggestions to anyone in this position? The first obvious suggestion is that you
might to go to your local church and explore whether Christian teaching could hold some of the
answers to your questions. But, I hear you say, if I go to a church for the first time I won’t know
anyone, they might ask me all sorts of questions and I won’t know when to stand up and sit down in
the service. You’re quite right - maybe this is too bold a step for some people.

So what about just going along to your local church on a weekday to take advantage of the peace and
quiet of the building to use it as a time to think through your new ideas. Our village churches are
open all daylight hours and you’ll find the atmosphere calm and reflective. Take a moment to look
at a stain glass window which may show a picture of the baby Jesus, who came to this world just
over two thousand years ago with a message of hope and love for troubled people. It might encourage
you to find out more about his remarkable story and message.

And if both these suggestions seem too much for you may I make another suggestion? Why not take a
walk at sundown on a fine evening and open your eyes and ears to the beauty of the natural world.
Listen to the birdsong and the sound of a dog fox barking in the distance. Pick a wild flower and
examine the intricacy of it’s leaves and the stunning colour of it’s petals. And finally watch the
sun as it sinks below the horizon in a ball of fire. I will  be very surprised if you don’t come
home with your tentative ideas that there might be a
spiritual dimension to our lives reinforced . Good luck with your thoughts.


John Hodges

Forcett Churchwarden

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