A Message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 22 August 2014, 11:17 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: revamandacollinson@virginmedia.com



BC … that’s Before Children (not Before Christ as you may have thought) and before I married a teacher I was pretty oblivious about school holidays. It clearly didn’t register in my psyche that there was an increase in population around town, a decrease in traffic on the roads and prices increase in many child-centric areas/attractions. Now with two little ones and a teacher husband I am only too aware of how the whole village changes: you can park along Oxford Street, the parks are always filled with laughter all day and not just after 3pm, supermarkets are busy at any time … as are the ice cream sellers. Whilst some of you may be shaking your head in disappointed agreement, I am sure there are many other parents like me who delight in the holidays as that means quality time with the children – proper whole days with the family without the normal shopping, washing, cleaning getting in the way of playing pirates walking the plank (or is that just in our house?). But before you blink the summer has gone and we find ourselves at the start of a new school year. This will be a big one for the Collinson Clan as Jacob starts ‘big school’. By the time you are reading this we will have completed the preparations of ‘getting ready’ – for Jacob his bag, uniform, shoes etc will be all prepared, named and ready to go; for my husband he would have regrettably left the island of ‘summer bliss’ and returned to ‘work mode’ ensuring he is ready for the fresh start of a new term.
Although Mr Gove wanted to change the three term year (not sure what Mrs Morgan, the new Secretary of State for Education, thinks about this) I think it is a good thing as it really does cut the year into good sized chunks whereas those of us who are not blessed with children probably have our year cut in two – Christmas and a summer holiday (I am not going to try and list what some of you lucky retired’s years are like: you are more on holiday than at home, well that seems to be my folks’ experience anyway!!!!). The year was long when you only had two things to look forward to, now I am working more term by term and things seem easier to deal with.
And in a way the church is a bit like school: we have had a long period of ‘ordinary time’ since June/July where there are few festivals and no time of reflection but September signifies the start of change: as well as the clocks turning back, it’s the start of harvest time, time of remembrance and then time of reflection and waiting in Advent. But if you are not properly aware, before you know it you are late in posting your Christmas cards …
And so this month I would encourage you all to look around yourselves: at your home, where you live and where you work. What has happened over the summer? What is happening that you have not seen or experienced before? What is ahead of you over the next few months? We have the proverbial ‘Spring clean’, I am encouraging you to start an ‘Autumn check’.
There are practical things we can do – test the central heating after the long summer of it being turned off, remind ourselves where candles are as the nights draw in….but we should also go through a ‘spiritual’ check-off list as well – am I giving what I can to community/church/charity in terms of time or finances? Have I spoken to that neighbour I haven’t seen in a while? Have I made peace with the family member/friend that I fell out with a while ago? Am I continuing to improve and deepen my relationship with God and others? Am I the best person I can be?
Don’t let September be the time for only pupils and teachers to get prepared, let it be a time for everyone to look at where they are, who they are, what they are doing. If you need to make a fresh start, do it this month, but to all of you try and be as ready as you can be for whatever comes your way this Autumn – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!
I wish you all an organised, prepared and blessed month!

Rev’d Amanda


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