Nathan Writes – July 2024

Wedding season is upon us!

We’ve been really fortunate that several couples want to get married in our beautiful church, and why wouldn’t they? It’s a perfect setting!
In days gone by, the couple would come to church before the ‘big day’ and perhaps seek the guidance and council of the Vicar. That’s completely changed now, and I rarely get ASKED for advice, but I do sometimes GIVE it, nevertheless. 
The day, of course, is hugely important for the couple and the family, but it is only a day. It’s what comes next which is important. This is only the beginning. 
This got me thinking about how many of life’s journeys we begin in church. Many of you reading this will have been baptised as a child in our ancient font. Your life literally began in church. Your mother may have been ‘churched’ after giving birth and brought you along as a tiny infant. St Mary’s would have stayed with you as you got older, perhaps you were one of the faces in the choir photographs from the 1950’s? Then maybe you returned when it came time to get married. I’ve heard many stories over the last year of how the village has changed, but how St Mary’s has, in some ways not changed at all.
What a wonderful experience of church, of continuity and stability. 
For some, St Mary’s is about certain life events, one-offs. For others, it’s been their spiritual home for many years. 
The reading came up in the church’s daily prayers, about Anna who worshipped in the temple. Not only did she join in the services, she actually lived there! This put me in mind of a small child in a primary school where I was leading the assembly who presumed that I actually lived in the church. I’m not sure I’d want to sleep on the pews….
Journeys do not only begin in church, they also end there too. This week we are saying goodbye to a faithful friend of St Mary’s, who knew it’s stones one by one, who loved this place of stillness and prayer. Thankfully, many continue to want to say goodbye from this place which meant so much. 
Whatever place St Mary’s holds for you and your family, I pray that we will become more involved with you, more available to you and more attractive a place to come and simple be. If you’ve not started your journey with us, maybe come along on a Sunday?

Rev.Canon Nathan Jarvis

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