Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance at Richmond

We waited in the Friary Gardens for the parade to arrive.
Recorded music gave way to drums and brass.
Service men and women from Catterick Garrison marched past.
The wreath bearers took their places on the damp grass.
We prayed.
The Last Past summoned us to silence.
Cold winter sunshine promised an unfelt warmth.
Autumn leaves blew gently in the crisp breeze.
All was quiet, the people still and remembering.
The child began to cry.
Breaking and supplementing the silence with the reminder of tears.
Just so a child cried on that silent night in Bethlehem.
We will remember them.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


It might just be me but everything seems to be changing at the moment. As the leaves fall from the trees outside my window and the nights close in I am reminded that everything changes that the seasons come and go and that this brings both challenge and opportunity. But then, even the seasons seem unpredictable as the weather patterns change.

There is change in the Diocese of Durham. I rejoice that the Bishop of Durham is to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. I know that he will be greatly missed in the diocese and by all of us who have been his colleagues in the North East, we wish him well. And we embrace change, accepting and trusting in God for the future.

Within the Methodist Church we are working with change. Sometimes they are changes that we welcome, sometimes we are challenged, often we are surprised to find God at work among us in ways that we had not anticipated and sometimes do not recognise. I rejoice in the focus on mission and commitment to personal sprituality and excellence in worship that is part of the Darlington District's development plan. As people embrace change and grow and develop in their relationship with one another and with God the old growth is pruned and the new shoots are given space to grow.

God continues to surprise me and I know that I need to be open to new and surprising directions because God does great and surprising things.

Many of us are aware of the changes in our own lives and in our own bodies and are sustained through them because we know that God's love for us is constant. God's love, God's overflowing abundant love, God's free gift of love - that is the only thing that doesn't change.

'[Nothing] in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (Romans 8:39)