From the Rector - November 2017

Dear Friends,

As I write, the leaves on the trees are turning to yellow and gold, the days are getting shorter and there is a chill in the air. The days can seem gloomy and it’s perhaps natural that our thoughts turn towards endings. The year itself is coming to an end; however we all know that the year will begin again and whilst we have the harshness of winter to face, we also have the hope of springtime.

The arrival of November signals the beginning of a series of festivities; be it Bonfire night and fireworks or Advent Carols. We move from the quiet sadness and grief of All Souls and Remembrance Sunday, into a time when we remember that we DO have hope - not just for Christmas coming, but for the assurance of eternal life in heaven.

Our Development Project for Donhead St Andrew Church is making excellent progress and you will notice that our last service there is on Sunday 10th December in order to allow time to prepare the building for works to commence. The traditional service of Nine Lessons & Carols will be held at Donhead St Mary, and there will be services across the Benefice during the Christmas period. Gift Aid envelopes for Donhead St Andrew will be available should you wish to continue your giving during this period.

I’d like to share a story with you...

A Father and Daughter were saying goodbye at an airport. Her plane had been called. I was sitting nearby and heard him say ‘I wish you enough’. They kissed goodbye and she added ‘I wish you enough too’. Then she left to board her plane. As he watched her go. he was crying. I asked him if there was anything I could do. He shook his head, but smiled and thanked me. ‘I am saying goodbye to my daughter forever. I am old and I have an illness that will soon take its toll. My daughter lives a long way away. She has work to do and so have I. We both know that when she returns it will be for my funeral’. I said ‘I heard you say “I wish you enough"; what did you mean?‘ He smiled again, ‘It’s a saying in our family, passed down through generations. I don't quite know where it came from, but it's precious to us’. Then he closed his eyes a moment and spoke it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your outlook bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit strong.
I wish you enough pain to make life’s joys precious.
I wish you enough luck to satisfy your needs.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate what you keep.
I wish enough 'Hellos' to get you through the final ‘Good-bye‘.

As Christians we are not untouched by death. but we also have the hope of springtime: the springtime of the eternal life to come.

My friends, I wish you enough.

Yours ever,

Richard