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April letter

Dear Everyone.
The latest corona virus has created a crisis throughout the world. There are many things that can frighten us, but this one affects us all. Dealing with this pandemic has bought out the best in many people. Many now confined to their homes have found their neighbours extremely helpful.
Many are vulnerable because of their work-doctors nurses, all who work in hospitals, police, fire ambulance services, army personel, the many people who do all kinds of humble cleaning tasks those who distribute our necessities and serve us in our shops. Many others whom we may not have realised how important their work is deserve our appreciation, thankfulness, and our prayers of support.
Crises however do have a creative side. They create situations where we have to act quickly, and that means we have to enter a very rapid learning curve at whatever age we may be. We need to act positively in order to help others, and also to remain positive and stable in our own personal lives as well..
Everyone of us have a responsibility to support all kinds of people around us, known and unknown and those who have lost loved ones in a situation where it is very difficult to grieve together with friends and families..
Whatever your outlook on life and situation may be ‘May the peace of the Lord be with you’, especially as we go through these very difficult days
Sincerely,
David.
Please join us if you are able wherever you are at ‘prayers@12’time -even with a few moments of quiet reflection for those in need of our prayers.

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monthly letter

March letter.
Dear everyone.
Last month was for me a special celebratory one. In the year 2000, on my birthday, I was appointed as one of the chaplains to Nottinghamshire police. It is a role that I have enjoyed tremendously. Throughout my ministry I have served in many different kinds of chaplaincy work-hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals, schools, the car industry, mayor’s chaplain in St Albans, care homes, the RAF police and their dog training school and the oil industry.
When the time came for me to ‘step down’ from the responsibilities of actually being in charge of churches, the invite to become a chaplain to the police as part of an ecumenical team was a real God-send.
It is often said that the role of chaplaincy is one of ‘loitering with intent,’ but not of course with a malevolent intention! There have been many experiences over the last 20 years that have happened, in a confidential way, which I have been privileged to share in with both police and civilians who work in policing, in all kinds of traumas, life stages, and changed circumstances. Even with brief snatches of conversation with officers and people who are very busy about their work, it is surprising how much one can be involved in giving a word of encouragement, and feeling a sense of usefulness in listening to and sharing things with others.
Later in this year, all being well, I shall be celebrating the 60th anniversary of my ordination as a presbyter in the Methodist Church. There have been many challenges to face up to, but they have certainly been very fulfilling years.
I personally see ministry as a lifelong calling, but I believe for every person there is a role, a calling to fulfil. As long as we have our cognitive skills, it is important that we use them as fully as we can. We must all be willing to help others to find happiness in their lives and fulfilment in worth-while ways of life.
With all good wishes,
Sincerely David

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February letter

 

Dear everyone.

The first of February was a fine sunny day. I thought I will go into the garden and clean up the  leaves that have made the garden untidy since they fell in the autumn. It had been windy overnight, and lots of dead branches have been blown down from the trees, but   the wind had also blown leaves off the lawn and paths. either into neat piles, or into the borders. What a pleasant surprise!

Ecologically I’m told, untidy leaves in a garden are valuable for insect life and the protection of some plants.  You don’t always help a garden by keeping everything perfectly tidy! Leaves can be safely left for a time and some will naturally get mulched into the ground.

Quick results in any walk of life are not always the right answer.  In the parable of the wheat and tares Jesus reminds us that wheat and tares are often sown at the same time. Damage can be done to the good things that grow if we are in too much of a hurry to get things tidy and in order.It may be necessary to wait until the harvest time comes, in other words, the right moments of fruition, before the separation can take place.

There are some things of course need dealing with straight away because to act slowly would destroy things that are good, even the well being of people. Let us pray that we may all have true discernment, true wisdom and knowledge. and take great care that we do not think that everything we do should be done in a hurry!

May we all learn to be good gardeners, good carers of the universe and the people within it.

Every blessing,

Sincerely,

David.

 

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January letter

Dear everyone
As a schoolboy I played in a small school orchestra, As a beginner on the violin, I played the second fiddle part.
Life often begins like that . We are rarely chosen to be leaders at the beginning, but we need to learn how to do things properly first!
We may find ourselves playing in a secondary role for a very long time, but we have to remember that every role that we undertake can be important. There are always situations where someone has to fill a ‘back-up’ role or called upon to suddenly fulfil a leadership gap. Many have been brought into a lead role like that. For some it comes at a very late age, although management today often calls younger people into management responsibilities. We may surprise people what we are able to do later in our lives, but there does have to be an attitude of mind all the way through that encourages us to discover the most useful roles we can fulfil in the world and in the process we all need to us discover what humility is all about.
John Bunyan who wrote the book Pilgrims Progress,in one of his hymns wrote this.
‘He that is down needs fear no fall, he that is low no pride; he that is humble ever shall have God to be his guide.’
No one should be excluded from finding a role that is of service to others. We should all be willing to work from humble beginnings.
Megan Rapino, named as Guardian footballer of the year felt that her global exposure and success had only been made possible by the supportive teamwork of her colleagues. She went on to say however that in a wider sphere too that ‘everyone has a responsibility to make the world a better place.’
May her words as an outstanding sportswoman ring home, not only in sport but by people in all kinds of circumstances and lifestyles.
May God’s blessing be with us in this New Year as we persevere in our tasks-to ‘make the world a better place.’
With all good wishes,
sincerely,
David.

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December letter

Dear everyone,,
An advert on the back of a Nottingham bus said ‘travel contactless.’
I quickly realised it meant that if you travel with the right ‘app’’on your smart phone and swipe it near the travel card sensor on the bus your fare is then paid.
My mind however quickly went in a very different direction. In life we are all travelling on a journey, and on that journey none of us can travel ‘contactless.’ We need the contact, the support of other people.
We are living at a time when many have less and less close contact with other people in their daily affairs. Digitalisation has been a great boon to communications, but it means less contact is actually made directly with other human beings. People drive past our houses. A few might wave to us because they know us by sight. Families do not live close to each other. Often if we want to make a transaction by computer or phone there may be a choice of up to 10 letters or numbers that have to be pressed. Even then we cannot be guaranteed an answer by a real person. Those living on their own especially can find themselves without support in their times of need..
‘No man (or woman) is an island’ John Donne reminds us, and there is also a spiritual dimension to this as well.
An important part of the Christian message for instance, is that with the coming of Jesus into the world we are celebrating a unique way in which God himself enters into human affairs. When He comes, He is to be known by the name ‘Emmanuel’, meaning ‘God with us’, in other words ‘God in contact’ with us, strengthening us through his coming, in our journeys through life.
My hope is that we will all find on our journey, a faith that will help us, keep us in touch, and guide us- through our friendships, through the help of good people of all kinds. and through to that source of strength which is ‘beyond’ ourselves.
With all good wishes for a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year..
Yours sincerely,
David.

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November letter

Look out for the green lights.Then go!

Dear everyone
My holiday this year was a four-day visit via Eurostar to Paris. We made good use of tourist buses that gave excellent commentaries on their tours around the city from which we learnt a great deal about Paris and its attractions. Like many tourists, we were keen to see progress that is being made on Notre Dame.
The traffic like any city was intense. Not only roads full of buses, heavy vehicles, and cars but many different kinds and shapes of motorcycles, cycles, scooters and even a few rickshaws. We had to take great care crossing roads especially waiting for the green light to show.
When crossing lights are on red, we need to remember they are not just there to let the heavier traffic through, but to protect us when we are crossing; but when they change it’s as if the ’green man’ is saying ‘now you can proceed, now you can cross.’
This can say something about life’s journey. Are we responding to the right signals to direct our lives or are we so wrapped up in ourselves that we fail to see opportunities to go forward?
May we make our responses both great and small and respond to green light opportunities. We might need to consult others to find out what is the best way to go forward, and when the opportunity comes, take it!
Look out for the green lights.Then go!
With all good wishes,
Sincerely,
David.

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October letter

Dear everyone.
This month I’m breaking new ground. I’m making progress in writing a book. The idea has been simmering for a long time. There has been an element of procrastination and nervousness on my part; but several friends have expressed the view, unprompted by me, that I ought to write a book which would be an anthology based on thoughts expressed in my monthly newsletter blog.
It will require much concentrated work to prepare, and my hope is that it will be ready in the New Year, when, ‘God willing’, I celebrate during the summer the 60th year of my ordination. The title will probably be ‘In Times of Transition.’
It will cover a whole range of reflections on life both from the point of view of one’s own involvement in dementia care home, police chaplaincy, and general pastoral visiting ,but observations on living in times of great change including personal change,especially over the last nine years. Hopefully readers will find thoughts about ways in which we can be more proactively involved in society, in the environment, and discovering insights which help our spiritual needs from whatever direction we come
Many friends and relations have already offered help and advice which has been thankfully received. Your prayers would be valued in the undertaking of this venture.
With every blessing for the autumn season
Yours Sincerely,
David.

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