Pastoral Letter: w/e 30th April 2021

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

I almost can't believe that we’re so close to the month of May and indeed that the next Sunday service I lead will be in it.  Where did the first four months of 2021 go, I wonder?  

Mind you, I realise that for some who have been trapped inside and unable to get out and about as I have, the months have almost certainly nor whipped by as they have for me.  However, I do hope that as we unlock now more significantly we can start seeing such folks more face to face and get back to some sort of normal fellowship!

May Day, by the way, takes me back to my childhood in Oxford where it was traditional for folk to gather early in the morning in what would currently be uncomfortably close proximity on Magdalen Bridge, which is on a main road approaching the City.  At 6am a choir boy would sing a solo up on the tower of Magdalen College, we would all cheer and then wander around town in a happy daze seeing the town full of jolly pedestrians, greeting each other cheerfully.  Quite a few folks would be in dinner jackets and ballgowns, having been up all night revelling and some had the tell-tall signs of having apparently jumped into the River Cherwell from Magdalen Bridge.

The mates I had met up with and I would then split up, nip home, get changed  into our uniforms and make it in time for school as if it was just a normal day.  Which, apart from the fact that I suspect that some of us started flagging mid-afternoon in our lessons because of our early start, it was.  

And yet in many ways it was way more than normal, although I am struggling to work out why it was so special - and why I have such warm memories of what was in effect not much of an event?  Perhaps it was something about the collegiality of it, that we had all gone out of our ways to get there (trust me I am and never have been a good early riser!!)?  Also, there was perhaps a feeling that we were at last putting the Winter behind us and looking forward to more balmy, hope-filled seasons?  

Maybe we will feel more like that as we move into May too?

Anyway, another thing that I associate with May in more recent years has always been Christian Aid Week and I would like to invite you to make a donation in the gift envelopes if you are attending church, using the envelopes available in the foyer to be placed in the collecting plate at the end of the service. For those not able to attend church, please give me a ring at home and Christian Aid envelopes will be delivered to you and then collected at a time that is mutually convenient.

Your support makes an enormous difference to people in poverty in communities in Kenya, struggling to survive the climate crisis.  Due to frequent drought it is difficult to find enough food and water, but the money we raise could help a community build an earth dam, ensuring a water supply.


Blessings from your Minister,

Peter Clarke