A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 24 September 2021, 8:53 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church


Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com



Hope you are all well as we properly step into Autumn … I love the month of October: I love the colours of the leaves and countryside, I love the school half term when I don’t have to shout ‘get your shoes on’ for two weeks, I love World Smile Day on the 7th, I love celebrating Harvest in church (10th Oct this year!) It also means an extra hour in bed when the clocks go back and the proper start to Strictly Come Dancing! Get your home made paddles back out ladies and gentlemen, don’t deny it – you love it really! But what I do not like about October is Halloween.

I know in the main it is a bit of fun, but I am not one to encourage my boys to celebrate Halloween. I know many families coordinate visiting each other, so are not knocking on strangers’ doors and most just see it as a day to dress up and have fun, but due to my own convictions I still do not let my children go out trick or treating. I know, I am the WORST MUM EVER!!!

I am sure we all have had time when we have hated our parents for one reason or another – sometimes logical, others completely illogical. I remember having a real argument with my Mum about my RaRa skirt – I wanted to wear it to a family party and get together, she wanted me to wear something nice!!! In my eyes nothing more beautiful existed in the 80s than a RaRa skirt! Oh, how I smile now.

Phrases such as ‘I am just trying to protect you/care for you/make you not look ridiculous’ come from us parents’ mouths, and we will all confirm that we have many reasons why we don’t allow our children to do certain things, watch particular films, go out without a coat … you know what I mean. It is just that the child’s brain doesn’t have that ‘parental’ setting you get when you reproduce but just the ‘independent’ one: our children are fearless, they want to show their individuality, they grow up quicker than they need to be. However close we are to our children, there has been, currently is, and will forever be a gap between the generations and lack of understanding of each other. The bible has some great quotes about parenting, my favourite is from Proverbs 1 verses 8 and 9: ‘Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a necklace to adorn your neck.’  Hmmm, I am not sure my boys will take this advice kindly, but then going back to when I was a young girl, I am not sure I would either!!!!

Going back in time has been talked about in our household a few times recently – Year 7 Christ the King pupils are doing a time capsule, James and I talked about the old Blue Peter one, we spoke about the Time Travelling Avenger Dr Strange and even the Back to the Future films have been referred to. A few days ago a celebrity was being interviewed on the radio about what they would say to their teenage self … Samuel popped up and said, ‘Avoid 2020, it was rubbish!’

But in all seriousness, what would you say? Would you steer your younger self away from that boyfriend/girlfriend who became a nightmare? That job that ended up being a dead-end one? Not to waste your time watching Neighbours but go out and read better books? Saying no to the opportunity that would have transformed your life? What would you say??

I have made some interesting choices in my life, and my life has taken turns that I was not expecting (being a priest was certainly one of them!). Have I made mistakes? Yes of course I have and will probably continue to do so in one way or another. But, and it is a BIG BUT, I am who I am today because of the journey I have made, those paths travelled. Ironically, Bill Clinton famously once said ‘If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you will be a better person. It is how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.’ 

I am certainly a better person partly as a result of these mistakes, I hope he is too!!!  So, whatever this month brings you, do not worry: Be confident in your convictions, remember being a parent does not always mean you are a friend to your children and reflect on what you would tell yourself in 10 or 20 years’ time.

Embrace your loved ones. Embrace your life. Embrace love.


We will be celebrating our Harvest Festival this year on the 10th October at 11am.  We will once again be collecting for Foodbank.  They are always welcome of any donations but this is the current list of need: rice pudding, tinned spaghetti, washing up liquid, shaving foam/gel, sponge pudding, tinned potatoes, squash 750ml, toilet roll, par-baked bread, toothbrushes (single) and razors.

We are going to bless our beautiful Flower Banner at our Harvest Festival Service. Do come and join us for the service if you were part of this project and you would be welcome to stay and join us for a Bring and Share lunch afterwards.

We would love you to join us for this special service; there will be refreshments from 10.30am.

Rev’d Amanda

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