Stratton Deanery Prayer
O generous God, you invite your people
to discover the Kingdom and grow the church;
give us, then, the courage, the strength and the vision
to share in the mission and ministry of your Son
that with the Lord of the Church we may be, truly,
the Church of the Lord. Amen
written by Revd. Canon Rob Dickenson
For details of Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators select 'OUR CHURCHES'
and details of the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer select 'SAFEGUARDING'
North Cornwall is a truly glorious place, and it’s a privilege to live and work here – on the edge of everything. Where rugged cliffs encounter dramatic Atlantic breakers. Where Cornwall meets England. And where the Gospel is tested in people’s everyday lives.
Our 23 churches (across 18 parishes) are mainly small, rural, struggling for cash – and in good heart. Financial pressures mean that clergy are thin on the ground – but the dedication of their congregations mean that the churches are hives of activity.
Autumn. That time of year when the vibrant colour of summer turns to browns, reds, and fiery yellows. We have celebrated a season of harvest; a season of fruitfulness that seeded generosity to our community in the many gifts of food and drinks.
Now as we progress through Autumn the longer days are becoming notably shorter, darkness replaces light, and trees release their leaves to the ground. Autumn has that feeling of life letting go. There is a theme of dying in the autumn, we see this as trees lose their vigorous life of summer, their leaves return to the ground. In that we find a season of remembrance upon us; All Souls’ day remembers our loved ones departed, Remembrance Sunday remembers the sacrifice made for so many by so few and continues to do so. Both give us an opportunity to reflect and remember the fragility of a Godgiven life.
Autumn is a curious time of celebration and loss, the loss of warmth, rich foliage, colourful flowers, crop filled fields and of course light. But nature reminds us that the letting go is for a reason. All the harvest produce is made up of what the earth has released for us. It is perhaps the deciduous trees that are most articulate about one of the greatest messages Autumn has to offer. Watch those fluttering leaves fall and become humus. That humus sinks down and becomes the earth around those slender roots that sustains the tree for the next season of life. The biblical scholar Brueggemann wrote ‘only grief permits newness.’ If he is right, and if we want springtime newness in our souls we must learn to grieve well. The autumns that come our way nearly always involve some kind of grieving, and when this is well done then space is created for new possibilities.
In this time of curiosity, space, and possibility, we find the approach of Advent, new life and light entering the darkness and the darkness no longer overcomes it.
Rev Mark James