September 2018

'View from the Rectory' is the monthly column from our Rector, published in our Parish magazine.

September 2018

Try to remember…..


I really hope you’ve had the opportunity of a fabulous holiday over the summer months and are now ready for the challenges of autumn. Lengthening early shadows, falling leaves, a chill in the air and…more rain. 


One of my mother’s favourite records was ‘the way we were/try to remember’ sung by Gladys Knight, which began – ‘try to remember that kind of September, when life was slow and oh, so mellow. Try to remember, and if you remember then follow. Oh, why does it always seem the past is always better. We look back and think the winter’s were warmer, the grass was greener, the sky was bluer and smiles were bright.’ 


It’s a song full of sentimental reflection and lament for a past that was better than anything the future could possibly throw up. It summed up perfectly my mother’s perspective on life. She died 18 years ago, and yet I still hear echoes of these sentiments in conversations I have with folks today. I think it’s probably true that we all, from time to time, look back on things in our past with a degree of oversentimentality, at times, but what possibility does the season of autumn have ahead for us here in West Chiltington in 2018?


You may decide to join one of the many clubs and societies so active in the village I’m beginning to call home. Here at St Mary’s we have a fabulous Flower Festival over the weekend  of the 7th- 9th September and a wonderful choral Festival Evensong at 6pm on Sunday 9th.We have the wedding of Colin and Joanne on 15th September, a community friendship lunch at noon on Thursday 20th September (church hall) and our Harvest Festival service at 11am on Sunday 30th September followed by a lunch and quiz. On a very personal note my wife, Rosemary, begins her new job as a teacher at Billingshurst Primary School and I will attend the Chichester Clergy Conference in the first few days of September. On 12th September our 10am Wednesday BCP Communion Services restart and we have baptisms scheduled as well.


Throughout the Bible, God seems to call humankind forward when the people seem content to yearn for what was past or to rather stubbornly simply stay just where they are. It’s as if the Almighty has a completely different view of time (defined by an old tutor of mine as simply God’s way of stopping everything happening at once). So, if you are tempted to ‘try to remember the  kind  of September when…’, why not instead consider embracing something that encourages you to look into the possibility of autumn that opens up a better future that may be even better and takes hold of the hand of God who calls us all forward in love.


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