This incident made me reflect on the Pope's visit to Britain, his views on Anglicans and the prospect for unity between our churches. This is now on the agenda again, after the goodwill generated by the Pope's visit in September. It is difficult to forget the sight of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury in Westminster Abbey, praying together, embracing each other and giving a joint blessing. It gives me great encouragement that we really are moving closer together, as parts of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, as the Creed puts it so concisely.
We put a lot of time and effort into church life too. And what is that for?
Some years ago I heard a church leader talking about the natural rhythm of seasons of activity and rest in the local church. He suggested that the autumn is a time for getting going again after the summer and a good season for beginning a new venture, doing a new course or starting a new worship service. Not only does the school year reflect this too, but so do adult education and leisure programmes. As summer recedes we set about a new season with energy and purpose, or so the theory goes!
Our hairdresser was not happy. She was not looking forward to the School Holidays at all. She was going to have to balance her work with entertaining two demanding young daughters for those "long and golden days of August." "Teachers' rest: Mother's pest," I murmured, perhaps unwisely, from under the comb and very sharp scissors. Having seen it from the teacher's point-of-view for so many years, I now had to rethink a little about the problems of school holidays, from the point of view of the parents -a useful perspective.
I’ve never had a ride in an ambulance before and I didn’t plan my excursion on 6th May. I was in stunned shock when Dr Walshe told me he would order an ambulance and get me in to Gloucester Royal Hospital. But I was pleased to see the ambulance arrive and relieved that something was being done about the fever that I’d been struggling with for over a week. So instead of voting for who would run the NHS, I got to experience first hand the benefits of such a health service. And, as most of you know, they did find out why I had such a persistent fever. Praise God for the benefits of modern medicine!
“He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30
By the time you read this it will be June, summer will be with us and we have lots to look forward to and enjoy: weddings, roses, Trooping the Colour, tennis at Wimbledon and strawberry teas. As I write this I have Rogers and Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel’ ringing in my ears.