I was at Westleton last night to put Christine Redgrave in as Rector of the recently formed Yoxmere Benefice of eight lovely local churches, which she has been caring for and drawing together so well over recent years. Sixteen wardens with a forest of staved led me in. Tim the Deputy Lieutenant read a glorious Letter Patent instructing us to do the deed and St Felix looked down us and, I hope, approved as we seek to continue to let the light shine.
I pondered the Scottish referendum and how most of us would want to choose both better together and independence,. The struggle between them has led to an ever changing pattern of people and nations, a struggle that all too often turns nasty. Looking more locally, churches have worked together in also often-changing confederations, with the same need to collaborate, the same desire to be their individual selves, and the same mixed results. What’s more, I suggested, we have the same sort of struggle between individuality and togetherness in each congregation, which is both the body of Christ and a bunch of people like us. And… even inside each iv us, as we seek to find our identity and purpose, and do what’s right, but get pulled apart by our instincts and desires and often do what we don’t think is best. How do we find our true self and the inner peace and joy that will let us work well with others and do well in the world? Our inner pilgrimage leads us inexorably towards God, who as our reading from Psalm 139 told us, knows us from beginning to end, loves us and purposes good for us. Only as soul by soul and silently we let go and let God will we find our real identities which are held in him.
Here’s a YouTube video of a concert in the church to give you an idea of its atmosphere.