Church of England Diocese of Bristol St. Martin Knowle

A message from Rev Becky Waring... 15th May

15 May 2020, 1 p.m.

Dear friends

As always you are in my prayers as I reflect on our beautiful church, parish, community and fellowship.

As we now move in to a transition time, where we may see some businesses open, a lifting of some restrictions, perhaps a return to school for some of our young people, I am aware of a mixture of emotions. I am ready to see and touch my loved ones, I am ready for what may feel like 'normality', I am ready to see the economy moving again if it means there is a greater chance that families will be able to put food on the table. I don't want to live in fear, AND, I feel safe at home. I've enjoyed having space and time. This has been like a gift. I'm enjoying the sense of community and spirit of togetherness. Maybe some of these emotions resonate with you, in fact maybe you feel all of this even within the space of one day!

It feels like this is a season of our lives where we can hold joy and sorrow, separation and togetherness, loss and gift in the same space, and perhaps where the metaphor of being Christ's body is even more clearly understood.

We may not know how to pray in this time. Our usual rhythms may no longer feel relevant. Words spoken alone may highlight even more the absence of a gathering. Watching or listening to a prayer offered digitally may not be helpful.

I'm reminded that St Paul offers us a model of praying in his letter to the Thessalonians which may be helpful.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (1Thess 5:16-17)

At face value, this may feel like an impossible task, or even another burden, but I interpret this as God being in all things and in all places, and that our prayer can be like a running commentary or ongoing conversation, where ordinary everyday moments become prayer.

I really value the awareness of God's presence everywhere, and the opportunity for those unceasing opportunities to be in dialogue with God, whether waiting in a queue, doing household jobs, walking around the neighbourhood, seeking energy to continue to work at home while the sun is shining, even naming and sitting with the emotion I'm feeling right now. All of it can be prayer.

I would love to hear about how your prayer life is, at this time. I would love to be able to pray more with you and for you. It would be great to share stories about how God is being revealed to you even more in this time. It would also be so good to share some of the struggles and challenges.

If you feel you would like to share any of this, do please be in touch.

In the meantime, I pray, without ceasing, for you, and as St Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians concludes "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you"


Rev Becky Waring

Vicar St Martins Knowle

Area Dean Bristol South