National Church life survey
The results of the National Church Life Survey completed in late 2016 about the Parish are now available. Please download the file below.
GREETINGS FROM THE Locum
THE LOCUM WRITES ON THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION
Most years there is a news report on television of tornado or twister chasers in the United States and it appears not to be fake news. What is the fascination, I wonder? Are the pursuers hoping that some day they will be twirled up in a tornado and off to see the Wizard of Oz? Is it another example which people have seen for ever, it seems, of the power and omen perhaps of remarkable weather? Even cloud, mist or fog.
You could go on a cloud chase through the pages of the Bible (a concordance can be a cheating way to do it). Again and again, cloud is seen as the presence of God, what Bishop I T Ramsey called ‘a disclosure situation’.
From today’s Gospel reading:
... a cloud overshadowed [Peter, James and John], and from the cloud
there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’
Peter, James and John ‘were terrified’ before they became aware of the glimpse into the something special, seeing Jesus not for just who he was but what he was, the pure expression of the Love which is God. We might observe that when things appear obscured and challenging, and even frightening, there is the possibility of the unseen being glimpsed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that ‘through every event, however untoward, there is always a way through to God’. And having seen that - even once - our perception, like that of Jesus’ three closest companions, our understanding of the potential experience of life changes for ever and once can be enough.
But there is something else about 6 August in addition to the recollection of the Transfiguration, or the changing perception of Jesus, and that is the event on this day in 1945, the bombing of Hiroshima. Who can forget the photographs of the mushroom cloud from the explosion of an atomic weapon. On that day in 1945, and three days later in Nagasaki, at least 129,000 people were killed and the mushroom cloud both obscured and for thoughtful
people suggested that.
Remember Bonhoeffer: ‘through every event, however untoward, there is always a way through to God’. Behind the cloud, in the cloud, and through the cloud, those who see life through Christ-coloured glasses can find something positive, challenging though that can be.
Naïve though it may seem to many, in a world where terrorism, corruption and the trend to ruthless dictatorship are with us every day it behoves people of faith through word and action constantly to assert that what is seen is not all. In a sermon in the 1880s Bishop Westcott of Durham said that anyone ‘who leaves the unseen out of account deals as it were with a soulless world, with a mechanical structure of matter and force...
We can be the preservers of the very soul of being alive. Awesome but thrilling, and not just pie in the sky.
Dean Emeritus Stuart Blackler