Dear friends,


What a joy it is just now to see the beauties of early summer. Trees, shrubs and flowers are in bloom and looking beautiful. The birds are busy and sound wonderful, though sadly not so many swallows are here this year. All of nature is busy sustaining and reproducing, very noticeable as we watch the birds and the bees. A swarm of bees in June, if you can catch it and keep it, is worth a silver spoon, according to a verse written in the seventeenth century when no doubt climate conditions were different.

But all is not well in the created world. The psalmist proclaims ‘The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in the world, and those who live in it’. I have been shocked recently by compelling evidence that we are not taking good care and acting as good stewards of the world that is the Lord’s. The United Nations Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity recently published shows that nature is declining at an unprecedented rate. Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980 and huge amounts of heavy metals,   solvents and toxic sludge are dumped annually into the world’s waters. Increasing numbers of native species are becoming extinct and the rate is accelerating with up to one million species threatened with extinction, many within decades.

It is definitely time for a rethink at all levels about how we relate to our planet. As individuals, communities, churches, and nations, at all levels, we need to make changes.

As you read this it will be Ascension Tide and again this year the global prayer movement Thy Kingdom Come invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. Everyone is invited to take part in the eleven days between Ascension Day and         Pentecost and to pray especially each day for five family members, neighbours or friends.

The Pilgrimage Journeys booklets, 40 days of reflections on The Lord’s Prayer, at the back of the churches can be used to link with this or at any time.

We look forward very much to welcoming Carol Thomas as curate. Carol will be ordained in the cathedral on June 29th and we pray for her and that her ministry in the church will be greatly blessed. We will have an opportunity to welcome her at the Parish Eucharist Service to be held in St Marcella’s Church at 10.00am on June 30th. Please come and join us for the occasion.

I hope you all have a good summer with some good times of a break and some rest and recreation, whether you have holiday times planned away or are taking a break at home enjoying some of the great places we have in our own   area.

With love

Margaret Hards Licenced Reader