I’ve just returned from holiday – Nordic Walking in Derbyshire followed by a weekend with my family who live ‘in the North.’
For the walking part of the week, I have to say that the weather could have been better, but the company was good, the routes challenging and beautiful. In church the week before I went away I had chosen a hymn which includes the phrases ‘steep and rugged pathway’ and ‘through endeavour, failure, danger…’ As I struggled up Dovedale and through Milldale those words kept running around my head! A case of two parts of my life colliding you may say!
But do our lives really consist of separate parts or different compartments? Instead aren’t they actually made up of a number of interconnected parts which result in a complex and fabulous whole.
I was further reminded of this when I was with my family when I was simultaneously daughter, sister, sister-in-law and aunt, whilst still also being mother, and grandma even though my daughter and granddaughter were not around. Many titles, and roles within the family which come together to make up ‘me’!
On the first evening back from holiday I attended Needham Market’s Annual Town Meeting where reports from various organisations were presented – from Councils to Community Centre; from Community Cafe to Churches, with many others in between. It really brought home that a huge variety of things happen in this small town, and each one is dependent on others for its existence: the volunteers who take on various roles running the clubs, the charities who provide grant funding, the elected councillors who take on responsibilities, and the organisations like the Community Centre and the Churches who offer space for people to meet and form friendships.
Most of the people attending the meeting have more than one role within the town or are part of more than one organisation.
I do hope that each one of you reading this feel you have a place within this town, and indeed feel valued and part of the community.
Have a look at this newsletter and perhaps resolve to try something new this month – I’m sure you will be welcome.
There’s a song we sing at Christchurch where the first line is this:
‘Let’s build a house where love can dwell, and all can safely live…’ The chorus then goes like this: ‘All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.’
I hope that whoever you are and wherever you go, you will find a welcome.
Reverend Mary Playford