A View From The Vicarage - May

Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen 

As I write this;  we are in the middle of yet another Holy Week, preparing to accompany Christ in his passion and death.  This year we are making that sombre pilgrimage against the backdrop of the continuing uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the European Union;  while our television and other screens are full of the significant damage suffered by Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a devastating fire.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage - March 2019

How Does Your Garden Grow? 

As you wander about the gardens, fields and hedgerows during the early months of the year, one cannot fail to be aware of the beautiful bright colours of spring flowers, their fragile tender beauty against the bare harshness of frozen ground damp with dead leaves. 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage - February 2019

Christmas or Candlemas 

A few days ago, just before the middle of January, a visitor to Kington Church asked me, with some hauteur it seemed, why the Christmas Cribs were still up in Church.  I  imagine that she believed that we’d quite simply forgotten to put them away!  In my answer I reminded her that the Church’s celebration of Christmas doesn’t end until the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple or Candlemas on February 2nd. 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage - January 2019

“Follow The Star”

I wonder whether you’ve made your New Year’s Resolutions yet?  It seems that for a great many people January is largely occupied in deciding not to replicate the mistakes of the past and resolving to lead better lives in the future. 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage - December 2018

“And The Light Shineth In Darkness”

As I write this, the immediate future of our Country and it’s Government appears to be in some considerable flux as the result of protracted negotiations with the European Union would seem to have resulted in a potential treaty that very few people seem willing to accept. 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage - November 2018

Dear Friends

Unknown Warrior

A few feet from the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London is the grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Permanently surrounded by poppies the grave of the Unknown Warrior is the one part of the Abbey floor upon which absolutely nobody at all, not even the Queen or a visiting Head of State, is permitted to walk.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, September

Dear Friends

Now Thank We All Our God

As you read this the long dry summer days are drawing to a close and the chillier notes of autumn begin to make their presence felt.  I always find that whether or not we find ourselves enjoying an Indian Summer September nights are always there to remind us that alongside the equinox the seasons are noticeably changing.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, August 2018

Dear Friends

I have always called these musings “A View From The Vicarage”.  As a rule, of course, the view being referred to is an opinion.  However, on this occasion I want to focus on an actual view or vista which, as I write this, is about to change;  and by the time that you read it probably has.


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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, July 2018

“To give or not to give that is the question” (with apologies to Shakespeare) .

I’m sure that all of you are familiar with John Donne’s famous line:  “No man is an island Entire of itself”.  But what exactly does it mean and does it have any residual relevance to us living in 21st Century Britain.


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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, June 2018

 “With This Ring”

“Where each asks of each,  what each most wants to give, and each awakes in each, what else would never be.”

This wrote the poet Edwin Muir, in words quoted by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie in his forward to the programme for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, May 2018

Thank You Are Not The Hardest Words

Elton John put the phrase “sorry seems to be the hardest word” to music, well this is not an “apologia” in either sense of the term;  but during April we’re holding our annual Parochial Church Meetings or Easter Vestry’s as they were once known.


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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, April 2018

“Spring Means Easter, Means Eggs”

Sitting on the bookshelves in the study here is a book called “The Magic Apple Tree” by Susan Hill.   It’s the account of the writer’s life in a large country cottage complete with, as you can imagine an old and rather gnarled apple tree in the garden.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, March 2018

One of the words that seems to be dominating the news at the moment is the word “certainty”.  In the aftermath of the Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, it seems that what everybody requires is certainty.  A Government that will tell them, I suspect exactly what they want to hear and I further suspect that in many cases the certainty which would be most welcome is of the most depressingly gloomy economic news that can be imagined. 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, January 2018

Dear Friends

Have you made a new year’s resolution yet?

If you have, I wonder if you’ll manage to keep it further than the middle of February?

For many of us the beginning of another year is the perfect opportunity to spend a short time looking back on the year that is past and I’m reasonably confident that the majority of us when we do so will find ourselves thinking very much as many schoolteachers comment when looking at children’s schoolwork “could do better|”.  I know that is certainly what I’ll be concluding.

 

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, December

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.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, November 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.

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Ben Griffith
A View From The Vicarage, October 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.

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Ben Griffith