OCTOBER SERVICES
1st
8.00am Said Holy Communion (1662)
9.00am Breakfast Church
10.30am Matins (1662)

8th
9.00am Breakfast Church
10.30am Harvest Festival Parish Communion
12.00pm Bring & Share Harvest Lunch

15
th
9.00am Breakfast Church
10.30am Family Communion

22nd
9.00am Breakfast Church
10.30am Parish Communion

29th
10.00am 4-Parish service at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Borough Green

















St George's Church,
Wrotham, Kent









OCTOBER... from the Rector: Rev.Edward Wright

 

 

Days with a bit of chill in the air, evenings not so long, leaves beginning to turn on the trees, I seem to find the passing of the brightness and warmth of summer a little harder each year. A good time to remind myself of sources of brightness beyond the seasons!

G.K Chesterton the poet, writer and creator of the Father Brown stories wrote this: ‘Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian’.  Secret, I suppose, because the impression given by Christian believers is all too often not one of particular joy, at any time of year.

For some joy may be held back by false ideas of what God is like and what He requires of us. Some might get caught up in religious niceties, focussing on rules and regulations that become a weight on the soul. Others may just take themselves too seriously, perhaps trying to prove to God that they are worthy of His notice.

Maybe a bigger issue steals the joy : a sense that it is inappropriate in the face of all the suffering and pain around us. Jesus certainly took the suffering seriously: the cross shouts that out. He is described as a ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’.  We are told He wept at the death of a friend.

And yet He also spoke of giving His followers a joy that no-one could take away; and He is described as being anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows.

This tension is reflected in the natural world around us; we can see the beauty of creation and the pathos of decay, particularly at this time of year in wonderful autumn colours.

I once saw an exhibition of the work of artist Rory McEwen. Between the 1950’s and 80’s he was part of a revival of botanical art, with paintings of astonishing detail and brilliance, often executed on vellum. The pictures caused me to see beauty and detail that I would have missed: a simple red onion or chilli became a stirring subject, and the flowers were quite wonderful.

Other portrayals, still startlingly clear, depicted leaves blemished by decay, such as we can see all around this month.  Yet even these paintings seemed in a strange way to be celebrating a kind of splendour. Somehow, and perversely, all the more so since the artist was under the shadow of cancer when the series was painted, a sort of expression of the triumph of hope, even in fading glory.

On the way out of the exhibition a quote was written up:  from joy springs all creation, by joy it is sustained, towards joy it precedes and to joy it returns’. I came away with a sense of exhilaration: in spite of decay, the intense beauty found in creation can be received as a hopeful reflection of the way things truly are.

We need not paint our picture of the world in sombre hues, blurring edges with soft focus to avoid painful reality. We may dare to use bright colours and clear lines, and amidst the sadness, yet see joy. And for one of Christian faith, there is the still clearer joy of knowing and being known by the One behind creation, in whose undying and brilliant life we are all, remarkably, invited to share.

 

Appreciation

Another fantastic festival in Wrotham, and I’d like to add thanks on behalf of those who enjoyed the events to all who worked so hard to put them on. As I’ve said before, these things take more time and effort to organise than might be expected; it is so good to live in a village where there are people prepared to put the work in. In St. George’s the Festival team arranged the Gospel Workshop, and the Classical Folk evening on the Saturday -both of which were successful and very much appreciated. Many also enjoyed the Festival Service on Sunday.

As a post-script to the festival, we had a church based choir from Sweden at St. George’s on the next Sunday evening. They had approached us last year because of an existing link with the area, and we had asked if they could fit in with the festival, but they had one of their own at the same time. So in the end they came for an evening on September 3rd. There were no less than 28 in the choir, and they sang beautifully -sharing some joy from Sweden!

 

 

 

 

 


















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FUTURE EVENTS

Sunday 15 October
3.00pm
Friends of St George's present
Wind Band Concert
Tickets: £10 (including afternoon tea)

Prayer Group meets Mondays 6.45pm-7.15pm in the Church Room

& Tuesdays 7.00am in Church

If would like to join a prayer or bible study group, please contact the Rector on 882211 or e-mail

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