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Minister’s Letter, August 2017
Patrick Holroyd, Reader to the United Benefice of Belmont and Pittington, writes: –
The coming of summer always makes me feel more content with life. As I write this letter the myriad colours of July are playing on the fields and hills around Durham and lighting them up, even if they are slightly damp! Perhaps my feelings are bolstered by the thought that summer brings the prospect of holiday time, time when we can relax a bit and prepare for what the colder, duller days of Autumn and Winter will heap on us. It also gives us a chance to meet up with family or new people during our time away, whether it be in other parts of the country – or abroad.
I wonder what the colourful and warm days of summer means to you? Apart from making me feel good, they always remind me of my childhood, times when, somehow, the weather always appeared to have been kinder, times when, as youngsters, we seemed to have more freedom, times when Mum and Dad took us away on holiday to other parts of the country. They were times when we would go out for the day, without Mum wondering what we were doing and whether we were safe, with our sarnies in our pockets, and roam around the local fields and streams. In those days, fields seem to have been a riot of buttercups, daisies and other meadow flowers we don’t see today. And they were great places to play Cowboys and Indians (No Political Correctness in those days) or just simple games of hide and seek, places where we thought nothing better than to plodge in streams in our wellies, catching tiddlers or `water boatmen’ in jam jars.
Summer is a good time for us humans, for it reminds us all, if nothing else does, of God’s great magnificence. to us all. As well as looking after our souls and bodies, He has also given us a natural scenery in which to live, one which truly does make us happy and glad to be alive. And it is a scenery which reminds us all of all the many other good things He has given us, things for which we ought all times be truly grateful for and take care of. It also reminds us about how lucky we are to live in a country where in spite of all the many evil things we see and hear about happening every day, we do live somewhere where we have the freedom to get away from our routine and just be ourselves, if only for a week or two. It reminds us also that we should continue to pray for all those millions of people who are not so lucky, people who have no countryside to enjoy because it has been destroyed by war and destruction – as in Syria and Afghanistan – and people who are forced to escape from their homes and seek sanctuary in foreign lands, often crossing the sea in unsafe boats run by evil and greedy people.
So, my wish for us all this August is that each of us will have a good, refreshing summertime and that we will be able to enjoy all that this brings. I also pray most earnestly that this `good time’ we have, may be translated into the hearts and minds of the world’s politicians, so that God’s Will that all mankind should be free, will be brought about without delay.
Yours, in Christ
Reader to the United Benefice of Belmont and Pittington