Vicar's August Letter

Revd. Angela Walker    

I hope that you have all been enjoying the sunshine that we have had recently. It has been lovely to be able to get outside and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that we have all around us. Although, for me, it has meant walking Charlie earlier in the morning when it is cooler.

Summer is the time for holidays, and I hope that many of you have been able to get away for a break at some point this year. I am looking forward to getting away soon, 1st to New-Wine, a Christian summer camp to be refreshed spiritually and then off to Canada this year to visit my sister.

Taking time out from the day to day ‘normal’ routine of life is essential to our well-being even if it is just a few hours a week doing something different or seeing a different outlook. Just popping to a neighbour for a cuppa and a chat can often break the day up and keep us from depression.

The bible tells us that a Sabbath Rest is important, initially that was a day each week when we rest from our labour, set aside time to worship God, and basically recharge our batteries. Of course God set us an example in the creation story where we read that on the 7th day even God rested from his work of creation. And God blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

In the life of Jesus, in the New Testament we find this principle of rest worked out in his everyday life. Jesus often took himself off to remote places of silence and solitude where he could simply be alone with his father. Spending time alone with God the Father in prayer and conversation was vital to his on-going ministry. It was here, in these quiet times that Jesus saw and heard what the Father wanted him to do, here he spent quality time with his heavenly Father building up that relationship. Here he was recharged and empowered to carry on the work he was sent to do.

The truth is, we cannot continue to give out unless we are also taking in. if all we do is work, work, work we will end up running on empty and what do they say about ‘All work and no play’? It makes ‘Jack’ a very dull boy…

Despite what some people think, ‘that vicars only work one day a week’ we actually only get one day OFF each week. I always take my day off and I get right away from home usually babysitting the grandchildren which I love. 

When you work from home, you need to get right away from the phone, the internet and the front door bell. Otherwise you end up dealing with requests and never having time for yourself or your family. We live in an instant world where everything is on demand 24/7 we are more connected and contactable now than ever before. And yet many people still feel lonely and many people suffer from depression or isolation simply because we are not spending quality time together. It is so easy to send a text rather than speak face to face or on the phone.

Can I encourage you to make sure that you get away this year if you are of working age, and even if you are retired a break away even for a week-end can be just what the doctor ordered. And if it really is not possible for you to get away, make a point of doing something different each week, maybe visit a neighbour for a cuppa, or pick up the phone and call a friend or family member just for a chat, or even go for a walk. And dare I say, why not find a nice quiet spot, sit with a cuppa and a bible, read a few verses and then pray, ask God to speak and minister to you. Tell him how you feel and ask him to supply what you need, ask him to refresh you with his Spirit and receive from him, because we really only can keep giving if we keep on receiving. May you enjoy the rest of this summer whatever you are doing and find ways to recharge your batteries.

Blessings Revd Angela Walker