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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
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 Comment
A View From The Vicarage, August 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.

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, July 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.

 

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, June 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!!

 

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, May 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. 

 

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, April 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.

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, March 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.

 

 

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, February, 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.

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Ben Griffith Comment
A View From The Vicarage, January 2017

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.

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