Voice of the Churches

FROM THE VICAR – Rev’d Philippa Sargent

It’s been a rum old few months! Who would have imagined at the start of this year that we would find ourselves using the word “unprecedented” quite so often about something other than the weather? And yet here we are in July, with a whole new vocabulary of astonishment and, sadly, fear.

We have had to learn to be a community without physical presence. We have rediscovered an appropriate level of respect for those who do jobs that have been overlooked so often in the past. We have realised the latent potential to care and to help in so many of our friends, neighbours and, indeed, ourselves. Everyone who has followed the rules has contributed to the well-being of everyone else around them.

Our collective frustration has been vented from time to time: sometimes at our leaders and sometimes at those who struggle to demonstrate moderation or who behave thoughtlessly. Fond initial hopes that this time might signal a turning of the tide in our treatment of each other and of our planet have been tempered by sad experience.

Who knows what tomorrow brings? That, if nothing else, is a lesson that we have all been learning. And yet, those of us who profess the Christian faith have an as- surance that we can share with our neighbours. Indeed, as many of us will have heard in our worship on Trinity Sunday just a few weeks ago, sharing that assur- ance is a central part of what it means to be a Christian.

Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations … And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
From Matthew 28:18-20

And the same God who promises us, in Jesus, to be with us always tells us too: “Do not be afraid”.

As we, the Christian community of Sturminster Newton and the surrounding vil- lages emerge from this extraordinary period in our world history, let us do so with confidence in the message that we are given to share. God has been with us through this time. He has nurtured and sustained us in our collective anxiety and grief. He will continue to hold us in the palm of His hand.

Until we meet again, may His every blessing uphold and keep you all.

God bless, Philippa