Ruth Pyke’s article in the September Diary August 17, 2016Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above,
then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord for all his love. (Matthias Claudius 1782)
So runs the refrain of the well-known Harvest hymn. This month we begin the round of Harvest festivals in our three churches, though in truth the harvest began in late July. Harvest has always been a time when we are conscious of our dependence on the creation.
For some this naturally finds its response in prayer and praise. For some there is the faith that God is the provider of the good gifts of creation which we all need. Whatever our individual belief we are amazed by the abundance of crops and grain within the fields around us.
I am also conscious of the abundance of good gifts which people give to the communities in our villages – caring for neighbours and supporting village events which draw us closer.
Much of that good will and support is extended to the three churches in Barley, Reed and Barkway which form a focus for families in time of joy and sadness and as part of our village landscapes. There are so many generous supporters and that is a cause for great thanksgiving.
But each year, we have to review our income and expenditure and reflect anew on the money which provides for the running costs of a living, caring, healthy church. Not just the stone and flint, the roof and the woodwork but the heating, lighting, insurance and the pastoral care that is there for all, whenever it is needed.
Each of our village churches looks for financial support in different ways but each relies on those who give generously and realistically. If you are already a regular giver- thank you, and if you are not may I ask you to consider doing so. If you would like to help, do let me know and I can assist with any questions you may have.
We ask, because we want to continue to offer the very best pastoral care to all who need it and because we want to fund the different ways in which we welcome all to our churches. We want to do this generously because we believe in a generous God who gives good gifts and above all his love.
With my love and prayers