A stunning morning, birds a plenty feeding happily, the fuchsias still so very beautiful and the leaves in the distance showing their autumn colours. Wonderful. Back to September and the Harvest Festival, on Saturday 26th the flower ladies decorated, cleaned and polished the church beautifully, all self-distancing, while a jolly group clipped, strimmed, mowed and weeded all around the grounds. Marilyn had put together a rather different harvest service on Sunday, which commenced after we had all sang the first hymn outside. It was after all a Thanksgiving Service which weaved its way all through that wonderful hour. Belinda spoke on behalf of the farming community beautifully, which was informative, fun, serious and uplifting. As Colin said, to follow that was quite difficult but follow it he did so very well done to you both. A short play based on the Wedding at Cana, was read out by different people, slightly panto style!!! Quite brilliant. Jeff, who was also on keyboard, Romy and their friend Jane, sang the most beautiful song “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. You can find it on YouTube. Also, Romy read out a “Prayer of Thanksgiving” Author unknown, again very moving. I will include it at the end. We all ended up outside to sing ‘We Plough the Fields’ a firm favourite for harvest. Thank you again Marilyn for a most wonderful, informal and relaxed service. Unfortunately this is the last time we can sing hymns until further notice.
Channel 5 television crew turned up on Wednesday 30th to film, regarding the life of Jane Austen, very special, Marilyn also stars!! They also filmed the oldest house in North Waltham and I believe in Ashe, they will let Marilyn know so hopefully we will all be able to view this series.
Into October and Friday 9th Book Club met in ‘Zoom time’ to discuss “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” by Kate Atkinson. Brilliant book, as told through the eyes of Ruby from the time of her conception to her later years when she is back in Scotland. Born in 1952 Ruby takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century determined to learn about her very dysfunctional family and its secrets. A score of 8 was given. Thank you, Dave and Amanda for setting Zoom up and to all those involved. Good to see everyone.
Communion service led by Rev. James was lovely as we also met the new curate, Amy. The small choir sang for the first time very well-spaced out in and around the choir stalls during communion, which was so wonderful at long last.
Graham, Laura and friends completed their amazing 5 marathons in 5 days! In Laura’s own words:- ‘We had amazing weather, support and countryside. To add to the challenge, on the last day we also shared the wearing of a Rhino suit! It was World Rhino Day after all. We reached and passed by our JustGiving target which is what it was all about. The much-needed money will be put to a good use’. Amazing, well done.
Update on Stanley (Sandros Storm) for those who have asked. After yet another setback regarding his jaw this year after qualifying for the championships, he once again had to have time off to recuperate. He came back into work and due to the wonderful relationship between horse and rider won their first advance 102 at Pachesham Equestrian Centre, followed by yet another win elsewhere. The tailcoat dream has been realized and on their way for British Dressage level Prix St George such a fantastic achievement. All so very proud of you, who knows what’s next?
The sun has gone now!!! The wind has got stronger not long before the fire will be lit to take the chill off, good excuse! The Heron has flown over a few times and a Little Egret has been spotted not far from a lake, still amazing to see this bird. Birdsong has been beautiful still in the quiet of the evening, also to see the large air displays performed by Jackdaws and Rooks have been quite stunning as the night comes upon us. Just about to pick the last of the runner beans and last tomatoes which have been prolific and so tasty. Hopefully the sprouts will continue to grow as the rest of the veg. Roast dinners on Sundays are a definite now! Keep smiling everyone, stay safe, and we thank all those who are helping in all sorts of ways, even a smile and friendly ‘Hello’ goes such a long way.
A Thanksgiving Prayer
Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings, the ones we’ve seen as well as the ones we haven’t seen. They have helped us depend on you so much more. Thank you God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds us that you know what’s best for us, even when our opinion differs. Thank you for the things you have withheld. You have protected us from what we may never realise. Thank you, God, for the doors you have closed. They have prevented us from going where you would rather not have us go. Thank you Lord, for the physical pain you’ve allowed in our lives. It has helped us more closely relate to your sufferings on our behalf. Thank you Lord, for the alone times in our lives. Those times have forced us to lean in closer to you. Thank you God, for the uncertainties we’ve experienced. They have deepened our trust in you. Thank you, Lord, for the times you came through for us when we didn’t even know we needed a rescue. Thank you Lord, for the losses we have experienced. They have been a reminder that you are our greatest gain. Thank you, God, for the tears we have shed. They have kept our hearts soft and mouldable. Thank you, too, for the times we haven’t been able to control our circumstances. They have reminded us that you are sovereign and on the throne. Thank you, God, for your ability to take what we consider tragedy and turn it into treasure. Thank you, Lord from those you have called home to be with you. Their absence from this earth reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on Heaven. Thank you God that we have an inheritance in the heavenly places…something this world can never steal from us, and we could never selfishly squander. And thank you God, for the greatest gift you could ever give us, your Son, Jesus.