Friday 19 June

Thought for the day from Sarah Edmonds Maguire

Let the floods clap their hands;

let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord (Psalm 98:8-9)

Many of us have missed being in our church buildings; sacred places, soaked in the prayers of generations, that help us connect with God. We are grateful some are now open for private prayer, but the time and space offered by lockdown has meant for some of us that we have been able to find God again in the beauty of nature. We are fortunate in Shipston to have ready access to nature, and in one local church some poetry lovers who have unfolded some of RS Thomas’ poems to us in a podcast.

A complex man, Thomas often railed at God but was also able to find God’s presence in nature. It was in the quietness of The Moor which was ‘like a church to me’, where

            There were no prayers said. But stillness

            Of the heart’s passions – that was praise


that Thomas found not just a love for creation but an encounter with the Creator.

Whether nature is shouting God’s praise enthusiastically as the psalmist describes or stilling our hearts before God as Thomas found, we have rediscovered God who is present, but not contained, within our church buildings

Sarah Edmonds Maguire is the Area Dean for Shipston

Letter from Archdeacon Sue

Archdeacon Sue has written a letter to all licensed Clergy and Readers, Churchwardens in which she provides updates on fees for funerals, Daily Hope and looking ahead to the future.