I've mentioned it once, but the news is worth repeating. Simon Brown from Harley has now been accepted onto the Reader training course. It involves three year's study but, already, he has been leading worship at Harley and will in future be doing so at Wentworth too. He will be a tremendous asset in the future and I hope you will support him with your prayers and, maybe, with good advice. He is not a replacement for Redz, who is still very active, but it will mean that in future the parish will have more resources to call on.
On Sunday 10th July I put a plate out for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for East Africa and have forwarded to them the amount of £75. This will add to the many millions already raised, a fund which will enable British aid agencies to meet the acute needs of many more of the hungry and sick refugees in the camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. On the same theme, this year's Christian Aid collection in the village raised the staggering total of £1581.09. We think this must be a record and it is a testament to people's generosity at a time when their own purses are feeling the strain of rising prices. I'm glad to say that Wentworth folk are still ready to accept that the needs of others are greater than their own. And many thanks to Ann Collier and all her collectors for the hard work that lies behind this.
August is, happily, a quiet month on the church front. Regular worship continues of course and there are lots of weddings. But apart from that, not a great deal happens. At the same time, I notice, the area is being wired up for faster broadband connection. And this is how the modern world works, with speed being the great virtue. As I mentioned in my summary of a Vicar's week, email is symptomatic of this. It has its great virtues, including getting an instant response, being able to contact several people together and, of course, saving on the high cost of postage. But both email and the internet add extra pressures. Companies who sell on the internet make the customer do the work rather than them; booking a holiday, for example, becomes quite hard work as opposed to letting the travel agent do it. And emails flood in at any time of the day or night, demanding regular attention and quick replies, which makes one feel pressured.
Jesus, of course, lived in a different age when life moved at the pace of the seasons. But of course there were still people working all hours to get on in life, people like Zaccheus the tax collector or Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. We should learn a lesson from our Lord who always made sure of times of withdrawal, hours or even days away from daily life, periods when he could get closer to God. In that way, he was able to recharge his batteries and, in the process of course, become far more of a 'success' than either of the other two go-getters I mentioned. A relaxed August isn't in quite the same league as going aside on a mountain to pray, but it still reflects part of God's plan for us. That we shouldn't feel the need to work all the time, but also have time for ourselves and, ideally, for Him also. That was Christ's rhythm of life; and then it is surely the right one.
Don't forget, by the way, that during the summer we have our series of services in the Old Church. They will be at 8.15 a.m. on Sundays 31st July & 14th August and for Evensong on Sundays 7th August, 21st August & 4th September.