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Ruth Pyke’s article in the October Diary September 20, 2017

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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The soul, too, has its brown October days –

The fancy run to seed and dry as stone,

Rags and wisps of words blown through the mind;

And yet, while dead leaves clog the eyes,

Never-predicted poetry is sown.

The last verse of Norman Nicholson’s poem, St Luke’s Summer. Three verses describe the letting go of summer. Despite the golden sun, poppy heads are dry, the dew is thick upon the grass and the last roses fall to the ground. St Luke’s day is celebrated on 18th October each year just as summer may have its last fling.

Luke was a travelling companion of St Paul, and the ‘beloved physician’. Because of this, October is a time when the church often focuses on healing. Type ‘healing’ into a search engine and you find stones, crystals and alternative therapies as well as the conventional treatments of the NHS. But there is a further strand to healing: prayer.

For thousands of years, prayers have been offered for healing, for oneself, for one’s friends, for specific illness, for healing of relationships, for stress among the demands of life, for mental health or for strength to cope. Healing is not just about ‘getting better’.

Every week in our churches, people are named who have asked for our prayers. Some are known to us, others known to only a few. At Barkway church on 22nd October, the Sunday after St Luke’s day, we have a special opportunity to offer prayer for healing during the service. Everyone is welcome. Prayers will be shared in confidence, or in silence. Nothing need be said unless you wish. The service will be our usual Sunday morning Communion – but during Communion, those who wish will be welcomed to the side chapel altar where prayers will be offered.

You may at any time add a name to our list or ask for prayers to be said in private on your behalf. Just put a note through the Rectory door, or if you would like to talk to me please make contact.

All of us need prayers for strength and healing – I commend this service to you.