Church of England Diocese of York Barmston with Fraisthorpe

Letter from the Vicar, July 2020

12 Jul 2020, 1:15 p.m.

I used to have socks with the days of the week stitched on them, a different colour stitching for each day. Eventually they went the way of all my socks, with holes punched through by my big toes. But I could do with them now, as the days just merge into each other and I have to think about whether it’s a Thursday or a Friday.

I remember years ago smiling at a cartoon of two angels on a cloud, where one is saying to the other, “I keep thinking it’s Tuesday.” Laughable, because of course there’s no time in heaven – time began at the moment of creation (St Augustine and Stephen Hawking agreed on that), and will presumably end when God wraps everything up and creates a new heaven and a new earth. So does that mean that it will feel like the lockdown does, with every day merging into the next one? In short, will eternity be a bit, well, boring?

No it won’t. Jesus said he was in the business of bringing life in all its fullness – life in 3D, in technicolour, with pizzazz and excitement, fun and laughter. As countless Christians have testified, life with him in the driving seat is sometimes scary, often demanding, occasionally mind-blowing, but never dull.

So eternal life with him, with all sorrows banished and the tears wiped from our eyes, with brand-new resurrection bodies in a freshly minted heaven and earth, is going to be great. I don’t know what will replace time – the Bible gives a few pictures but very little detail of the new creation – but I can promise we’ll never say, “I keep thinking it’s Tuesday.”

Thank you to those of you who responded to my appeal in last month’s letter. Your generosity has bought us another few months before we hit the buffers. But unfortunately we still have received very few regular, monthly pledges, and, unless we have more of these we will have to have serious conversations about closing the church once the lockdown is over.