jump to navigation

Article in the August The Diary by Sonia Falaschi-Ray July 18, 2016

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
add a comment

Continuity and change

In 1743 a collection of Roman/Celtic metal work dating from the third century was dug up in Barkway. Inscriptions on the votive offerings mention the Roman god Mars and the Celtic/Norse god Vulcan. These indicate that there had been a sophisticated settlement here centuries before its mention in the Doomsday book. Parts of the church building date from the 13th century, with houses lining the High Street range from the 15th Century to the present day.

The United Kingdom has experienced some momentous changes over that period. Some have been gradual, others shockingly sudden:  the Norman invasion in 1066, the reformation of the Church, causing the country to become officially Protestant at the turn of the 16th-17th centuries, installing the Monarch and not the Pope as its Supreme Governor, the union of England and Scotland and the formation of the Irish Republic, political reform enshrining the sovereignty of parliament, the creation and decline of the British Empire and the devastation and legacies of two World Wars.

Brexit is our latest step-change. By a narrow margin the electorate has voted to leave the European Union. Reactions to the result have ranged from delighted to appalled. How this will play-out is unclear. There are, as Donald Rumsfeld once observed, ‘known unknowns and unknown unknowns’, the latter being unanticipated, unintended consequences. This level of uncertainty running through our political, business, academic, trading and everyday lives may be deeply unsettling for us all.

I will leave you with words of a hymn addressing God, which I hope will offer you some comfort.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Many blessings, Sonia 07747 844265