A View From The Vicarage, December
A View From The Vicarage, November 2017
Charles Dickens once observed “Christmas comes but once a year and yet somehow it seems, it fills up all our memories and is part of all our dreams.”
It never ceases to astound me how true those words still feel so many years after Dickens first wrote them. But maybe that’s part of the wonder and the miracle of Christmas.
A View From The Vicarage, October 2017
“Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot...”
Those well known words from the rhyme about Guy Fawkes Night encapsulate the national mood as we enter the gloomy month of November.
A View From The Vicarage, September 2017
As I write this we look forward to our celebrations of harvest festival. For details of our harvest services this year, please see elsewhere in this magazine. I’m sure that those harvest celebrations this year will be overshadowed by the events which we’ve been witnessing over the past few months from devastated communities in Asia, the Caribbean, Sierra Leone and the USA following a catalogue of natural calamities which have caused such suffering to so many to that appalling litany of horror and devastation caused by war and violence in countries both near and far.
A View From The Vicarage, August 2017
As I write this, the works to replace the wiring and upgrade the lighting in St. Mary’s Church Kington have just begun. This is the culmination of the considerable efforts of a great many people over an equal number of years for all of which I am deeply grateful.
A View From The Vicarage, July 2017
Anybody travelling around Kington over the past few weeks cannot fail to have noticed the embellishments that have been made to the Hatton Garden’s roundabout within sight of The Tavern. All of which have been done as a spontaneous demonstration of affection for a much loved and deeply respected member of the local community. I am, of course, referring to the reaction to the sudden and unexpected death of “Wizard” or Michael David East as I’ve only discovered was his real name, since the news broke of his untimely death.
A View From The Vicarage, June 2017
As I write this, the whole Country and indeed it seems the Government are struggling to come to terms with the implications and consequences of the catastrophic fire at the Grenfell Tower in Kensington on 14th June. I’m convinced that this will prove to be one of these seminal moments, when what had appeared to be the status quo is irrevocably altered.
A View From The Vicarage, May 2017
As you read this we’ll either be drawing towards the end of or in the aftermath of a General Election Campaign. I’m not certain how prescient you are but I’d be quite prepared to wager that very few of us had been expecting to be paying a visit to the polls to elect a new Westminster Parliament quite this soon; I understand that Teresa May made the decision while staying in Dolgellau over Easter, I can’t claim to have done anything similar while I was there a week later!!
A View From The Vicarage, April 2017
As I write this, it’s Easter Week and I feel that I must begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to everybody who participated in any way with our Lent and Holy Week Services this year, I’d particularly like to thank our musicians and choirs for their invaluable support.
A View From The Vicarage, March 2017
As you read this, our long Lenten journey is gradually drawing to a close and the emotional and theological rollercoaster ride that is Holy Week and Easter will be upon us. In Welsh Holy Week is “Yr Wythnos Fawr” the Great Week. It seems to me that that is an extremely appropriate description of the events of those tumultuous days in Jerusalem so many centuries ago.
A View From The Vicarage, February, 2017
As you read this, we’ll just be embarking on the season of Lent, one of the most significant periods in the Christian calendar, preparing us as it does for Easter and the greatest of all Christian festivals.
For many of us I’m sure we connect Lent with the idea of giving things up and indeed this has long been regarded as a significant part of this season. But the idea of “giving up for Lent” is designed to help us to focus on fundamentals and I wonder to what extent we actually do that.
A View From The Vicarage, January 2017
By the time that you read this, Donald Trump will have been inaugurated as the 45th President of the USA and the moment when the UK Government will instigate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and with it the formal process by which the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union will almost be upon us.
A View From The Vicarage, December 2016
I do hope that as you read this, you’re still enjoying your Christmas celebrations. I’ve lost count of the number of people over the years, who have asked me after Boxing I had a good Christmas Day. For me, and I’m sure for you as well Christmas doesn’t end until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, so do keep enjoying Christmas up until January, 6th.
A View From The Vicarage, November 2016
“Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents’ house, the week before Christmas. At bedtime, as the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers, the younger one began praying at the top of his voice: “I pray for a new bicycle, I pray for a new Nintendo PS2, I pray for a new smartphone!”...
A View From The Vicarage, October 2016
As the longer and colder nights of November begin to embrace us, we also embark upon the season of remembrance beginning with All Saints and All Souls Days at the beginning of the month through, Guy Fawkes, Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day before concluding with the relatively modern feast of Christ the King...
A View From The Vicarage, September 2016
I wonder if you’ve been watching, as we have, the latest instalments of the BBC’s current dramatization of Winston Graham’s “Poldark” novels.I have to admit that despite having vague memories of the original BBC production from the 1970s and thoroughly enjoying the latest production, I’ve yet to read the novels themselves.
One recent episode which I watched the other night included some wonderful and bucolic scenes of the gathering and later the celebration of the harvest. Such images, combined with the writing of Victorian novelists such as Thomas Hardy remind us of a time in our not very distant past when a successful harvest meant for many rural families the very real difference between starvation and survival during the lean winter months ahead...
A View From The Vicarage, August 2016
“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete but only one wins the prize? Run the race in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland but we an imperishable one.” (2 Cor 9: 24-5)
As I write this, the whole of the British Isles is basking or is it baking? in what will doubtless be an all too short heatwave. After all I was always taught that the definition of a British summer is “two bright days and a thunderstorm!” it seems to me, however, that the storm clouds gathering over the United Kingdom at present are not merely the meteorological ones that we’re so accustomed to. For many people in the UK and well beyond its borders, the decision made in the European Referendum in June presages a protracted period of global doubt and uncertainty...