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From the Vicarage September 2020

JEMMA SANDER-HEYS 05-2019

Rev JemmaSander-Heys


Autumnal greetings!

Well, summer is almost over and autumn is coming on.  This year I've noticed more than ever the cycle of the seasons, as more time in the garden and on walks with the family has meant a chance to see closely the plants and birds changing through the year. This year we sadly lost a lovely Spanish whitebeam tree outside the vicarage... its roots were too wet and the rot set in last year, this year it produced no leaves and was cut down by the council. But we've also seen the collared doves produce two broods of chicks, and the fledgling blackbirds learn to fly, not to mention the goldfinches and blue tits on the garden bird feeder, and a bittern out on the broads. Oh, and we've all spent six months living through a global pandemic too
 
One of the good things about being part of the Christian story as a disciple is perhaps a wider sense of historical perspective than the average. As we look back to the Old Testament for the start of our story, and closer in time to the years of Christ in Palestine, and then through the years of the developing church since then, so we can feel as human beings, that our place in time is not limited to our generation or the generations of our grandparents, but that we have roots back through to the earliest ages of humanity
 
The same of course is true for ALL people, but the sense of family kinship with the 'communion of saints' who have gone before us, can be a great comfort in times of crisis... Through the last couple of thousand years, plagues and wars and disasters have raged across the globe, and the saints of every era worked and prayed through them...

Julian of Norwich, that wonderful local mystic whose writings are known all across the world, actually lived through a time of plague - with the Black Death first hitting the region when she was six years old and decimating the population for three years. Later, Julian would choose a sort of 'socially distanced' life as she became a permanent anchorite, living all her life in a room beside a Norwich church, which you can still visit (St Julian's Church, NR1 1QT). She knew sickness, loss, and disaster, and yet her faith, and personal experience of God's close and all-encompassing love, meant that she lived in peaceful relationship with the Lord, and was able to share hope and encouragement to troubled hearts both then, and later through her writings. I have often remembered her simple phrase of trust in recent months, perhaps you know it? “All shall be WELL and ALL shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”. I believe that, and on good days, I even FEEL it... I hope you can too

Love and blessings, Revd Jemma

  
also published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life

 

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