C’est la Rentrée
When my family were young, we used to go on holiday camping in France during August. Everywhere there were advertisements for ‘La Rentrée’, and my children loved buying up stationery for school in the supermarkets – school bags, notepads, pens, pencils, and every conceivable item you could wish for in your school bag.
The beginning of September marks a unique event in France – La Rentrée. It signifies that the long summer holidays have come to an end, and it’s time to return to work, to the office, to school and normal life. When the children start their school year again, it's a fresh start for them, a new year, new uniform, new stationery - but in France it is something more. La Rentrée is a whole atmosphere of celebration. La Rentrée literally means the return. In France it is a time of optimism and renewal, new stock in the shops, new books being released. It is about energy in social lives.
Welcome to La Rentrée in Chiddingstone as we return to school, college, preparations for university and a return to the daily routine of a new academic year. Perhaps this is the time for those whose lives are not regulated by school terms to go on holiday and enjoy less crowded resorts. But this is also a time of new beginnings. Children are starting in new schools; we have a new Rector coming to join us and we will be part of the new benefice of the High Weald Churches.
We are beginning September 2021 in the church by celebrating the natural world with Climate Sunday in St Mary’s on Sunday 5 September at 10am and Forest Church in Chiddingstone Village Hall at 5pm – as we initiate our response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which was published on 9 August 2021. Do join us as we work together to find ways in which we can support individual and community actions to save our planet. As we look back over the last 12 months, it has been a challenging year for us all.
We know that we are having to learn to live with the virus while remaining aware of the risks of infection; and we face the challenge of changing our behaviours to combat the climate crisis. But let’s embrace the French response to La Rentrée and live the next 12 months with optimism and renewal as we look forward to the coming of Autumn and the year ahead.
God bless, Bill