June 2015

[Our June Article is written by John Barrett


Dear Friends

In my last Parish, almost ever day, my wife and I would walk our dogs in a very well known area of Birmingham known as the Lickey Hills. Being creatures of habit we followed an almost identical track through the trees and then out onto the open space to look down on Rubery (our Parish). We would walk in the wind, the rain, the snow and even the sunshine. It was one of the glorious privileges of living in that part of the county.

Usually Mary and I walked together and so kept each other company. However on rare occasions I had to walk the dogs alone. Our dogs may have been pretty but they were not great conversationalist. So as I walked I tended to find myself deep in thought and miles away and walking on automatic pilot. My feet knew the way!

However I recall one particular occasion when walking by myself. I suddenly I looked up and saw what I thought was a new wooden memorial erected on the green. I thought that’s strange. That wasn't there yesterday! I went forward a few paces to examine this new memorial more closely. Then I saw it wasn’t a new memorial but the same broken down seat, which had stood in that spot for ever! It wasn’t that my eyes had deceived me. Rather that my first look at it had been from a different position. For some reason I had cut the corner and. so approached the seat from a new and for me, unusual angle!

Because of this I saw things very differently. My eyes and then my mind had taken in the information. A quick analysis and I had drawn the conclusion that before me was a new object. From that angle the old seat the old bench became a brand new woodenmemorial. In a fraction of a second I had made up my mind.

We all see things in a different ways.

At a different time or from a different position I would not have seen the simple bench as a proud memorial! That experience of mine on the Lickey Hills seemed to speak very aptly to the situation as I write. In other words the General Election.

Across the spectrum of opinions there is much soul searching and anguish about how to vote. Our opinions differ because we are all so different. Our opinions are formed in a complexity of ways. We are made by our upbringing and our experiences in life. This causes us to react in different ways. Like my bench we look from different perspectives and come to a variety of conclusions.

However in life we must respect each other. Admit our differences but accept the sincerity and honesty of others who differ from us.

When the June Magazine is published the results of the General Election will be history. All the millions of words written about the policies and personalities of politicians will be “chip-paper”. The country will have a Government for the next five years.

We pray Sunday by Sunday in the words of the Prayer Book:

‘We pray and beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian Kings Princes and Governors and especially Elizabeth our Queen; that under her we may be godly and quietly governed; and grant to her whole Council, and to all that are put in authority under her that they may truly and impartially administer justice…’

Whatever way we see things or hope for things may we all unite together to fulfil that prayer

John Barrett