Rector's Letter - March 2015

Dear Friends,

The actress, Dawn French, is a lady who exudes confidence. But it was not always so. In a newspaper article she tells how, when she was 14 and teased mercilessly at school, her father took her aside and told her she was uncommonly beautiful, the most precious thing in his life and that he prized her above everything and was so proud to be her father!

Those words deeply affected the way Dawn thought about herself for the rest of her life. She no longer saw herself as a short, fat girl who couldn't get a boyfriend. Instead she was secure in the knowledge that she was loved for who she was, not for what she thought looked like. Those words, backed up by actions, of course, gave her the feeling of being loved and supported which equipped her for the trials of life.

Mothering Sunday is on the 15th March. It is a time to thanks our mothers, especially, for their love and care which has had such an influence in making us the people we are. As a parent, it is also a reminder of the importance of that role.

Parenting is much in the news lately. Everyone agrees how important it is for children to grow up in a happy, secure and loving home environment. Our words can have such an influence - a power to crush or to build up. In today's busy world, it is quite easy to get into the habit of being negative and critical, especially if we are feeling stressed and inadequate ourselves. Prof. John Gottmann asserts that for every critical comment from their parents, children need at least five positive comments!

Mothering Sunday is a reminder of how much we owe to our parents, especially for their love. And love is often expressed in words, and words have a power, for good or bad. What we say to our children, and indeed partners and friends, is likely to stick in their memory and affect the way they see themselves, as it did for Dawn French. This should be a source of reassurance and comfort, because they feel loved.

God is the "ultimate parent" who shows us the way, affirming His Son Jesus, (and through Him us, His children!) with those famous words: "You are my beloved child, with you I am well pleased!"

What a difference a few words of appreciation can make!

With my love and prayers,
Yours, in Christ, John.

Verse for the Month

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.”
1 John 3:1

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