A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 29 August 2021, 9:28 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church


Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com



Hope you are all well and have had a good summer. It wasn’t the greatest of summers in regards to the weather was it, but if we are talking about the Olympics then it was a whole other story!! What a wonderful Games Team GB had – so many medals, but more significantly, so many great stories from the athletes.

There was Lauren Price, the first Welsh Boxing gold medallist, taxi driving in between training and supported by her grandfather Derek, who died last year and grandmother, Linda who took her in at three days old. Then there’s Eventing Gold Medallist Laura Collett who only eight years ago suffered a freak accident where she fell off her horse and it landed on top of her. It left her blind in one eye, with a punctured lung, lacerated liver, a fractured shoulder and two broken ribs and she was put in an induced coma for several days. Or hockey player Sam Ward who in November 2019 was hit in the face by a ball which caused a crushed retina, fractured eye socket and cracked cheek. Just three months later, he returned to the hockey field with four metal plates and 31 screws in his face and only sight in one eye!!!!

Watching the Olympics has given us an insight into the commitment you must have to reach the Olympics … so I cannot even begin to comprehend how those who nearly died, had a life-changing injury or struggled from birth achieved the ultimate sporting goal – and yet all three of them did! They are Olympians. They are heroes. I am humbled and in awe of them. Goodness knows what stories we will hear in the Para-Olympics…..that hadn’t begun when I wrote this!!!

Great feats of sportsmanship, amazing stories in spite of injury or loss to life-changing inventions: I always think or say ‘How on earth did they achieve that?’

Amusingly the quote that is on the front of this magazine came into my mind – you just need to take the first step! And these wise words from the great Martin Luther King, Jr are not just for elite sporting men and women but for all of us – whether it is your first step after hip surgery or your first step into school. They are all big steps, significant steps, for whoever is taking them.

Many people of my generation would have recorded our children’s first steps – we shout and cheer, we give them a big hug and tell them how amazing they are … and then we show them when they are much older and a wry smile appears on their faces. However thinking about it, this ‘first step’ is the most natural and normal one we ever do in our lives: it is the other times we ‘step out’, most of which have followed sadness or illness, that we really need the support and encouragement from our family and friends. We have a ‘significant’ first step this month with our eldest son starting secondary school. I remember when I did the same thing, I had a mixture of emotions – excitement and anxiety and again like walking it is a natural thing but when you have never done them before they are quite significant!

And this is all because one step, however small, can still be huge – from Neil Armstrong’s small step off the ladder of the Apollo, standing to make a speech at a wedding, the first visit into a chemo ward for treatment, the walk into a new job or even the first step out as a widow or widower or simply just your door after COVID, … in each of these situations we are stepping out of our comfort zone and making ourselves vulnerable, but as someone once told me to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.

The Bible has many wonderful quotes which help me when I am feeling vulnerable. One of my most favourites is from Isaiah where God reassures the worried to ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you’. Perhaps more well known is the Footprints poem, which has the same sentiments – I am sure many of you know it, but for those unaware, it details a man who sees his life as a set of footprints in the sand with God’s prints alongside his but finding that during his times of trial there was only one set of footprints. Reflecting how God reassured him that he would never be alone, he asked God why he left him during his most difficult times…..’I didn’t’ said God, ‘It was during these times I was carrying you.’

Whether we believe in God or not, we all need to support one another, encourage one another, enable one another each and every day as we may be unconsciously helping people take their own new, big steps in their journey of life … be that a hand to help, arms of comfort, a companion in joy and give everyone we live with, work with, share our lives with, the confidence that whatever their goal, be it to win an Olympic Gold Medal or just go to that community group they have been wanting to for ages, they are not alone and whatever their goal or need they will achieve it.

Wishing you a brave and exciting month, especially those of you who are stepping out on a new adventure or stage of your life!

Rev’d Amanda

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