February 2018

Dear Friends,

Following the flurry of Christmas services and events, we have now entered a new year, with all that 2018 might hold. Time marches on, and you will see that when you receive your magazine we will only be a couple of weeks away from Lent! Tempus truly fugits!

One of my favourite books as a child was Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Peace. In it, a boy called Tom is quarantined away from his family because his brother has the measles. He goes to stay with his uncle and aunt in their flat in a converted country house. Although the house’s garden has been built on, Tom hears the grandfather clock in the hallway (obviously an original piece of the furniture belonging to the house) striking thirteen one night. He goes downstairs and finds a wonderful garden – one which is not there during the daytime!

If I said much more, I would give the plot away, but it involves travelling backwards and forwards in time, together with a wondrous trip skating on the Fens all the way to Ely. There, Tom and his friend Hatty read a plaque which says, ‘Time no longer,’ a plaque which actually exists and is in the cloister between the transept and the Lady Chapel – I remember showing it to my school choir when I took them to the cathedral to sing!

Why, you might ask, am I telling you about a children’s book, other than the fact that it is still for me a wonderful tale by a highly talented writer? It does seem to me that we sometimes wish our time away instead of making the best of every moment. Sometimes this might be because we live through some very painful experience and it is perhaps understandable why we might wish to move on. Yet every experience is an opportunity to grow in some ways if we allow it. In this the steadfastness of Faith is a rock which is constant, because, as the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Making the most of life in the knowledge that the constancy of God’s love is ever present, no matter what is happening within our own lives, is a blessing which I hope will encourage us all to live for every moment of every day.

With love,

Michael