Rector's Message

Dear Friends

Drawing in ..

The nights are drawing in, but what a summer, beating all records of heat in England, but I am beginning to put the lights on now before tea/dinner especially on a dim and overcast day.  Some I know welcome the cooler weather, I don't mind the cold as I'm well kitted out but I do like some warmth and the open skies of summer.  As the sun dips again on the horizon we are reminded that light gives life, as autumn draws in and the plants and trees die off and go to bed for winter.  There are a few exceptions, some are setting their buds for next year, my 'naked ladies' (autumn bulbs) are flowering and my hyacinths are putting on leaf and will flower probably before Christmas along with some cacti.

The son gives life Jesus says in John 10, "I have come that you may have life, life in all its fullness".

It is quotes like that which make me ask, what does this mean for me? can I believe it? and what do other people think? As I encounter people in the parishes I wonder what draws them to question, to ask the awkward questions, and perhaps ask does it matter what Jesus said at all? In Stillingfleet parish we are asking people to question, to be challenged by the big questions about life and faith.  Our historic church buildings are places where there is a focus for hearing about the Son who gives life, who offers an answer for the difficult questions.  They are part of our heritage and they are also places of new life even in these darkening times.  People and communities change.  The way we live now is quite different to the way people lived fifty or one hundred years ago.  We are more educated and more informed than any previous generation, but that does not mean that we have no spirituality, no desire to rejoice, to give thanks, to pray and to wonder.   Our modern world allows us to pick and choose, encourages us to build our own heaven here on earth.  I pray that this desire is not a selfish one that excludes others, but that is open and brave, generous and considerate because I believe that God places treasure in each of us that he challenges us to share.  That is life and he has given it to us. Be drawn in ... there is nothing to be afraid of!


Richard Kirkman


"He that has the son has life." (1 John 5:12)