From the Vicar
I don’t know if we will have more record temperatures before the summer ends. We yearn for some real BBQ weather through a lot of the year in Britain, but with climate change we are having to be so much more careful when the heat comes, that we cannot always enjoy being in the great outdoors.
A politician likened the recent concerns and closure of railways, schools, etc. because of the 40+C temperatures to Britain being flaky, melting snowflakes, at the first sign of concern. I don’t know what your thoughts are about his comment, but as with so many things in life today, there is the balance to be struck between thinking for ourselves about the right thing to do in any situation, being resilient, and recognising that extreme situations that are out of the ordinary, require a different mindset as to what we do and how we react, whilst not panicking and being able to dig into our resolve to make the best of the situation we may face.
September will see children and young people starting new schools, new areas of study, and new opportunities for employment and training. Others may return from summer breaks to begin new jobs, move to new homes and new communities. The Government will have a new Prime Minister and administration. Change can be good for many of us, focusing on new horizons, opportunities, and challenges. Change can also be unsettling, worrying, and stressful.
How we deal with it will come from our determination and resilience, as well as from reassurance, support and encouragement from family, friends and those welcoming us into new situations. Not everything we would like to change, can or will happen, whether it be moving from unhappy situations, the effects of long term illness, the advance of our years, or and the transformation of things we would like to see change or grow.
We move into an autumn period where there is a great deal of uncertainty and turbulence in our country and within the world centred around the war in Ukraine, the displacement of people, the effects of climate change and the downturn in world economies. Whilst we enjoy a hot summer, albeit with the concerns about low rainfall, many dread the onset of the heating season and not being able to pay the huge hike in heating, fuel, and food bills.
It is terrible to think that in a First World Country there are swathes of population in the UK living in poverty and facing real challenges to feed and clothe, especially where low wages are losing the value to purchase because of inflation. We might have a view on what governments should do and who or what should be taxed to create more wealth, but it is also important, more than ever, that we are aware of the needs of our neighbour and to support local foodbanks, clothing banks and other ways that statutory and volunteer support is being offered to the most vulnerable in society. It is also important to remember that many fear the stigma of being poor or not managing to keep their head above water, and how we must never judge, but reach out where we can with compassion, for we may one day be that person or family in need of support and encouragement.
The coming autumn and winter may see tough days for all of us. St Paul in his letter to the Christians of Rome might give us encouragement to remain positive: `Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.’
With love and prayer,