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9.00am Breakfast Church [Click]
10.30am Parish Communion

9.00am Breakfast Church [Click]
10.30am Family Communion

9.00am Breakfast Church [Click]
10.30am Parish Communion (CW)

St George's Church,
Wrotham, Kent

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

I hope most of us who read this were able to get along to the Arts Festival. It was a wonderful display of skill and creativity. The ability and ingenuity of human beings to create in all sorts of different ways is truly impressive, isn’t it?

In an age when we are surrounded by remotely manufactured and uniform pieces of technology, there is something very refreshing about a celebration of creativity and diversity such as we were able to see at the festival. I recognize that well designed manufactured goods can have a sort of beauty, but they lack individuality.

I am now in danger of getting into the rather deep waters of modern art, so I’ll allow myself one comment with which I know many art buffs would disagree. Something like Marcel Duchamps ‘Fountain’ may have interest in provoking a response of the imagination or emotions, but to me the argument for its being a work of creativity is questionable. (For the uninitiated, or happily unaware, ‘Fountain’ was a porcelain urinal which was exhibited in an Art Exhibition in New York in 1917)

Whether arts or craft – and I understand it’s not always easy to draw the line between the two – the element of individuality, of expressing something of oneself through what is created is to me of central significance.

As robotic devises become ever more capable, isn’t there a danger that individuality and creativity will be increasingly suppressed?  When doing a course of study that included the Industrial Revolution, and the reactions it provoked in society, I remember reading of the concerns of the romantic poets like Wordsworth.

He and others feared that the ‘mechanization’ of society, where diversity became impersonal and pointless, was a looming threat over humanity. He describes thousands upon thousands of London City’s sons as ‘Living amid the same perpetual whirl Of trivial objects, melted and reduced  To one identity, by differences  That have no law, no meaning, and no end’

Something like the Arts festival seems to me to be sounding a blast for life. It is a festival of individual expression, but at the same time becomes a celebration of community life, contributing to the shared experience of living here, bringing people out from the potential isolation of life centred around screens – in short combating the sort of reduction that Wordsworth feared.

I want to take the opportunity to express real gratitude to all those who worked so hard to enable the Arts Festival to happen. It is not always obvious just how much work needs to be done for such an event – the planning meetings, the gathering and arranging of the art, the publicity, the moving of furniture, the transport and setting up of display boards, the providing and serving of refreshments, the stewarding, and on and on –including the clearing away and tidying up at the end when everyone is tired.

Altogether, a great deal of time and effort has to be invested by a band of volunteers.  Without them of course such events could not happen, and the community would be the poorer; and on an additional note, funds would be the less for maintaining the wonderful building at the heart of our village.  How good too that this building was being used and appreciated by many who would not normally do so.

You won’t be surprised that I see human creativity as a reflection of the One in whose image we are made. So participation in creativity, in any of its many forms, can be seen in some sense as a spiritual activity. And individual uniqueness, from fingerprints and DNA to personality, tastes, and styles, are one expression of the dazzling diversity to be found all around. Look at plants and flowers, birds and insects, animals, and the extraordinary creatures in the depths of the ocean.

Is it reasonable to think that all this is the result of sheer chance?  Would the paint or clay, if thrown often enough at the canvass or wheel, eventually happen to fall into the sorts of patterns which we saw on display? I doubt it.






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