From the vicar, Richard Hare
Last month we went on holiday to the Lake District. It’s a favourite spot and we go every year, enjoying the scenery, the relaxation, the hill walking and the coffee shops. Unusually this year we had only two days of rain, and the second week was almost too hot to go walking. It’s rare to have to retreat indoors because of the heat rather than the low cloud and lashing rain!
On one of the days I hired an electric bike. The first time I did this I wondered if it would feel like cheating, but it really doesn’t. You have to pedal just as hard, and for the flats and downhills the electric motor leaves you to it. But going uphill – it’s just like having a friend giving you a push so you don’t have to work quite as hard. It’s marvellous! Unfortunately, I was a bit ambitious with my route and realised to my dismay that the battery wasn’t going to last the whole day. I conserved as much of the remaining battery life as I could, really noticing the hills this time, but still ran out of juice entirely some eight miles from home, and had to push the bike all the way up the Newlands Pass before reaching Keswick 45 minutes later than planned. Silly me.
Some Christians say that we should let God ‘take over the controls’ in our life – let him do all the steering and pedalling, so to speak. But in my experience it’s more of a joint effort. When life is easy we can be unaware of him. But when we’re struggling uphill that’s when his power is most needed, and without him it’s really hard. And spending time with Him in worship and prayer is, I suppose, a good way to recharge the battery, so we don’t end up trying, and failing, to do it all in our own strength.
Talking of worship, some good news. We are restarting Sunday services in Barmston Parish Church from September 20th, taking the appropriate precautions to keep everyone safe – so please bring a face mask and be prepared to give track and trace details and sit 2 metres apart from each other. We will be sharing Communion, with bread only, as recommended by the Church of England guidelines. We will continue to livestream on Facebook at 11.00 am for those who don’t feel ready to be in public yet, so the service in church will be at 9.00 am rather than our usual 9.30. We plan to do this fortnightly, but will take wise notice of the pandemic situation as it develops and adapt accordingly. So watch this space.
We’ll also be having our first Family Service for many months back in church. It’ll be our Harvest Festival and will be at 3.30 pm (rather than our usual 4.00 pm) on September 27th. Any gifts of produce – especially dried and tinned goods and toiletries – will be gratefully received and used in our ministry to people in need in the area.
I look forward to seeing you soon. God bless you all. Richard