Pastoral Letter: 16th January 2021

Dear Friend from Bridport United Church, Uploders Methodist Church or Hope and Radipole United Reformed Churches,

As you know, we moved home in November into our own home and have, in the midst of all the Advent and Christmas (+ Covid!) arrangements / rearrangements spent any spare time adjusting, adapting and sorting the new home.  

Then, last week, with my newly built cabin in the garden finally connected to an electrical supply and (glory of glories!!) to the wifi, I then decamped from my temporary office in the second bedroom and into the ‘garden study’ as I have taken to referring it as.  

And it is lovely!  

All the things I decided I would continue to need (having disposed of vast amounts that I hope I won’t miss) and here I am.  

Except for the fact that for seven years I knew exactly were everything was. Now, it is slightly rearranged and, even though I only placed everything in its place last week, the 'recently' effect isn't helpful in remembering quite where the thing I need is NOW !!  

I knew where it was in the manse … I know it is here somewhere … but I am blowed if I can find it when I need it!

On the other hand and somewhat countering that frustration has been the little discoveries of treasures and keepsakes that I obviously brought with me from Kent and forgot I had. Just seeing them sets of warm memories.

For example I found one tiny rectangle of paper saying “Dee’s Social Group” and my name. It was my name badge from a group I attended whilst on ministerial exchange in New Zealand, which offered respite to carers of people with dementia.  To avoid any stigma associated with it, it was named thus although there was nobody called ‘Dee’ there.  The ‘D’ was for Dementia!   It was a super social gathering for a whole day, offering activities and company in a friendly environment whilst at the same time giving the family carers a day off.  It’s an idea that I felt at the time was transferable to the UK but have never had the time to explore the possibilities.  Maybe next year?

But it made me think as we enter a new year that much as my office contents aren’t quite where they should be, so that could be an analogy for 2021?  Much of our lives isn't quite as we expect it and virtually everything we do, we are doing differently.  Yet still life is here and there is hope of a return to something closer to the old normal?

I hope and pray so anyway!

Blessings from your Minister,

Peter Clarke