Rector's Letter - October 2016

Dear Friends,

They say that life comes in two parts. The first is when we are all busy "doing" things, being educated, having careers or families and so on. The second part, on retirement, life changes to one of "Being", of reflecting on such things as "Who am I?" and "Where does my life fit into the great scheme of things?" It all sounds a bit far-fetched to me, but I am about to find out! From what I hear, though, many people find themselves as busy as ever, and wonder how they found the time to work!

But it is important to find the space to reflect on life, especially as we get older and "the inevitable" becomes more of a concern. I have always been fascinated by trying to understand how things work, and what makes people "tick". The mystery of life has intrigued me. A mystery is after all a truth that is beyond our understanding, but even so we can begin to penetrate a mystery and get glimpses of understanding if we try.

From my scientific background I can see that the mechanism of evolution makes sense of the diversity of life, but the basic premise that life itself is the product of pure, random chance just seems implausible. It also has a very disturbing consequence, if it is true, then there is no real meaning to life, nor is there anything after this life, apart from passing on of genes! I think that there must be more to life than that!

In 1980, after years of scepticism and suspicion of the Church and its message, to my amazement I found that Christianity made a lot of sense, but more than that, it worked! I had never really thought much about Jesus, yet when He is put into the centre of the picture, for me, the rest of life fitted into place. My life has never been the same since... in a wonderfully good way! And I have met so many wonderful people who could speak of the same life transforming experience, some with dramatic stories to tell, ex-drug dealers, ex-alcoholics and the like, and so many "ordinary" people (no one is ordinary!) for whom the life, death and resurrection of Jesus has made all the difference.

I had found "the answer" in Jesus, and I had to try to tell everyone this surprising and vital Good News. Here, in Jesus, we can find the means to be fully human. Here in Jesus we can find the answer to mankind's fears and failures. Here, in Jesus we can see life opening into eternity. What could be more wonderful!

So, off I go on my second stage of life, a chance to stop and reflect. That's the theory anyway! But it is with heavy hearts that we leave these villages. We have been made so welcome and made so many good friends, and have had so much fun! The last ten years have gone so quickly and Pat and myself thank you for the privilege of sharing them with you. So, for now we say "goodbye" and, to quote Dave Allen, "May your God go with you" (I know He will!).

With our love, prayers, thanks and very best wishes for the future,
Yours, in Christ, John.

Verse for the Month

“Jesus said: "I have come that you may have Life, and have it abundantly!"”
John 10:10

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