Benefice Newsletter

THE BEACON

SEPTEMBER 2020

You are the light of the world.
(Matthew 5.14)

 

A farewell to Walbury Beacon Benefice

Since it’s airing 37 years ago in February 1983, the series finale of the award-winning show M*A*S*H entitled “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”, remains the single most watched episode and TV event of all time with more than 125 million viewers.  Set during the Korean War, M*A*S*H followed the daily exploits of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit located 3 miles from the front lines of the war zone. Amid the horrors of war-wounded soldiers, sniper bullets, bombs and incompetent Army guidelines-the doctors and nurses relied on humour, hijinks and hearts of compassion to keep sane.  And through their common experience, the members of the 4007th became a close-knit family and community.

In the episode “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” the community finally receives some long- awaited good news-war is over and they can return home to their families and friends!  It is a cause for joyful celebration and sad goodbyes. The doctors and nurses soon realize that “going home” means their current relationships will end as they depart for various destinations in the States. 

And who can blame them for feeling and acting this way?  Many of us, me included, can identify with their anxiety, pain, sadness and reluctance toward saying the two words that acknowledge the end of a particular relationship in a certain setting. Saying “good-bye” to a friend or mentor, or to a Benefice can be extremely difficult-once the words are spoken, a person then has to learn how to live without the other in their daily midst. That type of dramatic change can be scary.

The twelve disciples likely experienced some fear and anxiety when Jesus announced a huge change while having dinner with them in an upper room.  I imagine there were some shocked faces, a few tears and twittering hands among the disciples as they listened to their teacher talk of betrayal, arrest and crucifixion.  Jesus doesn’t let them dwell long in their fear of what will happen to them and he assures the disciples that they will not be abandoned:

“When the Spirit of truth comes, (says Jesus) the Spirit will guide you into all the truth; for the Spirit will not speak on its own, but will speak whatever it hears, and the Spirit will declare to you the things that are to come.”

While Jesus’ words of assurance and promise of the coming Spirit may not make a departure less difficult, the words do give hope in the midst of change. Jesus’ words lift the heavy weight of finality that is often felt when someone says “good-bye.”And the presence of the Spirit allows time for both parties who depart from one another to reflect on the sacredness of that moment of change.

Remember also a similar parting message by the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica:

“we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,* to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

These are my final words to you all.

May God Bless you and Farewell.

Mark

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BENEFICE ADMINISTRATOR REQUIRED.                                                           
Walbury Beacon Benefice is looking for someone with good communication and IT skills, to co-ordinate the work of the ministry team and manage the Benefice finances;
also to support our internet communication with the Benefice and wider community. 16 hours per week@ £9 per hour with some flexibility on hours. Might this be you?
If so, please contact : Rev'd Tim Wood 01488 669 261  or Jenny Veasey   01488 657 911: jennyveasey@hotmail.co.uk

 

SURPRISES

1. Four months on                          2.   Sort and care          3. Take control

     And I find                                           Memories                            Of each nook

   I can be strong                          Precious to share                 On cat patrol

  Where I was blind                            Hoping to please                   And really look

 

4. Not so wild                                  5.   I don't need                      6. Take my time

     What is that?                                     To go 'out'                              Not the bus

    Blooms undefiled                             Just yet I plead                    Find peace sublime

    The bees attract                                 While there is doubt          Instead of fuss

 

7.  More patient                               8.   Accepting                         9.  Thank you Lord

        Hopefully                                        Who they are                        For your care

     And tolerant                                     Maybe guiding                     Living your Word

    With family                                       Them from afar                  Help us to share.

 

M J.G. August 2020

 

Poetry and prayer spring from one source in our hearts

soul-seed that is Love (Sister Michaela.C.S.CL)

 

VIEW FROM MY WINDOW IN LOCKDOWN

This month from Pauline Pettitt and Judith Wilson

 

Praise to thee O Lord for all creation, Give us thankful hearts that we may see, All the gifts we share and every blessing, All things come of thee (Look at the World' by John Rutter)

 















They are the kindest Birds, Though somehow are senseless'

Nassy Fesharaki (Poem entitled 'Of Pigeons')

 

READING MATTER  WHILST CONFINED TO BARRACKS?

I decided to re read my library and started with the Palliser novels of Trollope. It would seem that  humanity has not changed that much from Victorian times. The books abound with adventurers, fortune seekers, money lending, investors, risk takers and of course politics - which does not seem to have changed at all!!  I then turned to John Cowper Powys, having read Weymouth Sands as a young teenager - thank goodness I didn't get to Glastonbury Romance until years later! For relief am re reading one of my three biographies of Prince Rupert!

So what treasures are being read in the rest of the benefice? Share your favourites.

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CHRIS NICHOLL

Those of us who knew him are saddened to hear of the death of Chris. We have many happy memories of his and Annie's time in KIntbury. Their open house in the Old Vicarage for any church activity, study groups, social gatherings, childrens' plays and bonfire parties to name a few were a source of fun and fellowship. The Rev'd Martin Gillham sends this tribute.


Chris and Annie Nicholl moved into the Old Vicarage from West London with their two children in 1983. Their Christian faith was immediately apparent, and the congregation of Saint Mary’s welcomed them. Within a short time Chris began training to be a reader in the diocese of Oxford, and when licensed had a good ministry in the Church. Later he became a Churchwarden. He gave support to Pat in her selection for ordination as a priest for which she continues to be grateful. I would call Chris a fine Christian gentleman, kind and thoughtful, and full of integrity. Annie supported him wholeheartedly. Both Pat and I counted them as good friends, and were saddened to hear some time ago of Chris’s illness,                    (Parkinson's) and then recently of his death. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.              Revd Martin Gillham (Vicar 1983-94)

Before he left the Benefice Matthew regularly visited Chris in Brendoncare. 

 I first met Chris when he was attached to Great Bedwyn Church. It was at an Alpha meeting and he ended the meeting with an apology because he had not realised that I was a Reader. We saw each other latterly and I visited him when he went into care. He, like many of us in illness and difficulty, questioned his faith and vocation but was always happy to discuss it. He fully participated in the Home Communion A kind, gentle and thoughtful man. (Matthew)

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  V.J. DAY

Sadly we were unable to arrange a commemoration of the 75th anniversary. A British Legion  member has laid a wreath on the Kintbury war memorial.  We remind ourselves of the words of the Kohima Epitaph:

 

'When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.'

SEPTEMBER

Two of our Benefice Patronal Festivals take place in September. At St. Mary, KIntbury and St. Mary Hamstead Marshall; St. Michael Enborne and St. Michael, Inkpen. 

The two churches dedicated to St. Michael were consecrated on the same day.  Most churches dedicated to the Archangel are situated on a hill and ours are no different. Michael fought the devil..and perhaps a suitable patron for Enborne standing on a battlefield. Whilst Inkpen is truly a church for All Angels, with its many representations and beautiful situation.

 

Hamstead Marshall was originally a field church under Kintbury until it was granted it's own priest. In Kintbury a Statue of the Virgin was mentioned in pre reformation wills when   money was left to burn candles before it.  It was the 20th century before a statue was again placed in St. Mary's. The original was vandalised and the present one  a generous gift from Peter and Anne Hutley, comes from the marian shrine in Medjugorje

                   Rublev icon of St. Michael                                 Statue of St. Mary

 

On 4th September we commemorate Birinus - Founder our Diocese. In the 7th  century     Birinus was consecrated bishop in Milan and sent to Britain to continue converting Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.  The original plan was to penetrate well into the interior of the country  But Bede records that ‘on arriving in Britain and coming to the nation of the West Saxons, he found all to be confirmed pagans and thought it more useful to preach the word there.' In AD 635  the Christian Oswald of Northumbria, wanted to marry the daughter of Cynegils, King of the West Saxons, and came to Dorchester to visit him. He found Cynegils receiving instruction in the Christian faith from Birinus. Birinus baptised Cynegils ( probably in the nearby River Thame), with Oswald standing as godfather. The two kings then granted land to Birinus in Dorchester for the establishment of his episcopal see and cathedral church. Birinus thus became the first Bishop of the West Saxons. He died about  AD 650, buried in Dorchester and canonised soon after. The Abbey became a pilgrimage centre.

                                           IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME . . . . PART 1

In my sermon on 9th August in Inkpen, I described how I had read and re-read the Gospel, Matthew’s version of Jesus walking on the water, with a continual feeling that I was missing the point.  And that I had eventually applied some of the literary/linguistic learning from my training – and then felt that I was very much closer to grasping the point of Matthew’s story.  I didn’t go into the detail of my approach, as I wanted rather, to share the understanding I felt I had achieved – surely the point both of all that training – and of preaching a sermon.

I thought some of you might be interested -  (and most of you probably won’t!).

Chiasm – or chiastic structure – is a literary format much used in the ancient near-eastern world,  which spilled over into classical and New Testament Greek.  It is frequently found in the Old Testament, usually for emphasis – but as we rarely use it, we generally don’t recognise it – and so we often, quite literally, miss the point.

Chi is Greek for the sound represented by the letter ›‹. 
A chiasm is writing that is structured like one half of an X - › - and the most important point to which the writer wishes to draw attention – will be found at the point › in the middle.  It may be the climax of an argument, or its turning point.  The words, phrases or sentences which lead to the point and away from it again will in some way form a balance with each other: perhaps through repetition or opposition of a noun or adjective; perhaps through ideas which repeat, reflect, oppose or in some way connect with each other – making a pattern – at its simplest, a b › b’ a’. 

Thus “The Sabbath was made for Man › not Man for the Sabbath.

[a] The Sabbath was made
          [b] for Man
                  
           [b’] not Man
[a’] for the Sabbath

In this well-known and clear example, the centre › forms the turning point of Jesus’ statement. As I read the Gospel for that day, its chiastic structure suddenly leapt off the page at me – and I could suddenly see the point.  Here’s the reading – I’ll leave it with you this month to play with for yourself – and analyse it chiastically next month.  And we’ll see if you agree with me!                                                                    

                                                      Matthew 14. 22-33
22. Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24. but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,[d] for the wind was against them. 25. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.  27.But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28. Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29. He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30. But when he noticed the strong wind,[e] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32. When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33. and those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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  ENBORNE

On August 23rd the Benefice Service was held once again at Enborne ,our first Service for 5 months It was a most occasion shared by Parishioners from all Parishes in the Benefice and our own Parishioners. The Service had something of the ALPHA and OMEGA about it .It was Mark's final Service at Enborne. He led the worship in the way we have become accustomed ,that is to say with Reverence lightened by a sense of humour. The Sermon was Richard's first, hopefully the first of many. Richard preached with eloquence and a sense of authority explaining the Readings one of which had been given by his wife of Six weeks. Holy Communion was celebrated by Tim in a way which impressed us all. After the Service it was a pleasure to chat with old friends some of which had not been seen for almost 6 months. The Zoom congregation too appreciated the recording and our grateful for that provision.Roger Pope was delighted with the Service and for those who had so lovingly cleaned the Chuch so that the Service could take place  John King
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PSALM 65

'Thou visitest the earth and waterest it.

 Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God which is full of water.'

NOTICES                                                                                                                                     CHURCH SERVICES IN SEPTEMBER

 6th September              8.30am                 Holy Communion            Inkpen                                                                         10.30am                  Holy Communion           West Woodhay                                                                                                   6.30pm                 Compline                        Inkpen                 

13th September          10.30am                  Holy Communion            Inkpen                                                                           6.30pm                   Evensong                      Enborne

20th September         10.30am                   Holy Communion            Kintbury

27th September          8.00am                    Holy Communion            Kintbury                                                                       10.30am                    HolyCommunion            Combe       

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CONTACT                                                                                                                                                             

 For parish matters please contact your churchwarden in the first instance                   

Combe:       Mrs Katharine Astor: 01488 668284 & Mr David Russell: 01488 668229 
Enborne:          Roger Pope: 01635 253122
Hamstead Marshall: John Stevenson: 07775 521704. E john@theprivateofficelondon.co.uk
Inkpen:       Gerald Atkinson T.01488. 668375 E.geraldelsa@gmail.com  Bruce Armstrong: 01488 669007. E. brucewarmstrong@gmail.com
Kintbury:     Mrs. Pauline Pettitt: 01488 658246            E.  paulinepettitt@yahoo.co.uk
West Woodhay:       Harry Henderson: 01488 668233. E harry@woodhay.com   Andy Fox-Boudewijn )1635 253768. E andy,foxboudewijn@gmail.com

Rev.d Tim Wood: 01488 669261               E. revtimothywood@gmail.com

Jenny Veasey: 01488 657911                    E. jennyveasey@hotmail.co.uk

END THOUGHT

Honey in the mouth

won't help bitterness in the heart

(Yiddish: taken from Garden Proverbs: Terry Berger)

Items please to:   Penny at ian_fletcher43@btinternet

 

THE BEACON

AUGUST 2020

You are the light of the world.
(Matthew 5.14)

TO THE PARISHIONERS OF WALBURY BEACON BENEFICE

As most of you will be aware I celebrated forty years of ordination on the 6th July. This was a milestone in my life as a priest. Although the past eighteen months have not been easy for me with various issues within the Benefice and of course latterly Covid 19 and the lockdown, it remained my goal to work towards a cohesive Benefice and we have made some progress along that road.

However, after 40 years in Ministry an opportunity has arisen for me to take early retirement, and in consultation with Bishop Olivia I have decided to pursue this, and so I will be leaving Walbury Beacon Benefice on 26th September 2020.

Deborah and I have come to regard West Berkshire as our ‘Special place’ and indeed we will continue to live just outside the Benefice boundary at Stockcross. More importantly we have made many friends in the Benefice over the past three years and we will continue to have a great interest in the life of the Benefice as you move on to the next phase of your Christian Pilgrimage.

I leave you in the hands of a very capable Ministry Team and Bishop Olivia has assured me that both Deanery and Diocese will continue to support you as you move forward.

There is little more for me to say. Except this. Life after the current crisis will probably never be as it was before or perhaps as most would want it to be. The world has changed, our country has changed, our communities have changed and we as individuals have changed. From a Parish perspective I would ask all of you to be open to new ways of doing things, new ways of being disciples of Christ, new ways of being and of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our communities and to the wider world. The heart of the Gospel for me has always been LOVE. Please continue to find fresh ways to express that love to each other.

May the love and joy and peace of the Risen Christ be with you all.

With thanks and God’s richest Blessing to you all.

Mark

TWO NAMES FROM THE PAST AND THE BENEFICE

 In 2003 the Church of England was riven by a major controversy,this time over homosexuality and the Episcopate which led to Canon Jeffrey John declining to accept his nomination as Bishop of Reading because of the immense opposition to his nomination. The C of E and the church in Berkshire particularly were bitterly divided. A Canon from Peterborough was chosen instead. Canon Stephen Cottrell was little known here at this time but it soon became apparent that he was a most gifted and unusual Bishop. Firstly he had been educated at a Southend on Sea Secondary Modern school not a Public school, secondly, he took the Church into the secular environment confronting the non church community in places like Reading Station and thirdly he was a dynamic Leader. Sadly for us he was appointed Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010. This June he became ARCHBISHOP of YORK that is the number 2 in the hierarchy of the Anglican Church. The Bishopric of Berkshire has had some distinguished clerics but none has risen near to this position. I remember Bishop Stephen well,I recall being most impressed and I have followed his career with interest and was delighted when he was promoted to York. I hope many in the Benefice will have memories of his inspiring leadership.I would like to share just 3 with you. Firstly, he enjoyed his visit to the West Woodhay Show preaching at the Service in West Woodhay House  Garden meeting and impressing numerous people. Secondly, a total contrast I remember his Consecration of the new Churchyard at Enbone. There were only a few of us present but The Bishop gave it his full attention with reverence perambulating the whole area and blessing different parts of the plot. Thirdly, I shall never forget his sermon in Kintbury Church just after the completion of the Benefice. The process had not been handled well. Kintbury had been treated with a lack of sensitivity and there was much hurt about. Bishop Stephen came to Kintbury to preach to us and   in a most inspirational Sermon told us all,  particularly the Church wardens what our Christian responsibilities were. I am sure he will be an outstanding Archbishop. SECONDLY,  I would like to remind the Benefice of the Rev Charles Neill. The Parishes had endured not just the tragedy of the Christopher Coney years but a long interegnum as well. Charles had been a school Chaplain but he was an outstanding Country Priest. He knit together the separate Parishes more firmly than ever, he introduced new Services but above all he showed how the Christian life should be lived and inspired us all, despite the growing crisis in the Anglican Church, to face the future with confidence. By John King.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT by ROGER POPE

 I am still trying to reconcile in my own mind that those in Authority should think it necessary that all Parish Church Buildings should be locked with immediate effect at the start of Lockdown and that they remain out of bounds for some 14 weeks.  I appreciate that  for the Town and City places of Worship where large numbers congregate this might have been the simplest option to safeguard the public as a whole. Most of the Church members at Enborne are categorized as vulnerable or at risk. This,I suspect,applies to a good number of small  Parish Churches.It is most doubtful many of the faithful will return whilst the provision for private Prayer is in place. Like me you may be aware of many who have not adhered to all of the Government's guidance requests. On occasions it is best if we  do what our own instincts tell us otherwise we could totally lose all consciousness of independence and individuality.  It may be this virus has travelled more rapidly and more widely compared to others throughout history; the reasons for this need to be accounted for and lessons learnt.

 

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Natasha, our first post-lockdown bride in the benefice – arriving by horseback for a short, simple, joyful and moving ceremony in Kintbury Church.

The Ministry Team has been delighted recently to welcome the groom, Richard Pascall, as a newly authorised preacher to the benefice.  We look forward to working with Richard as his ministry develops over the coming months and years. 

An exciting time for both of them!

Jenny

                

As we welcome Richard to the Ministry Team, we give thanks for the ministry of Tim, Jenny and in Kintbury, Pauline and Bridin for their tireless care of us - especially those of us who are  classed as 'vulnerable'. We thank  all the volunteers who have delivered prescriptions and Jay and Anita in the Kintbury shop. In addition to the benefice Jenny also arranged care for the boat people stranded on the canal. We have been very blessed and I am sure that there are many  other  members of the benefice who deserve our thanks.

Creator of light,scatter the darkness before us

that we may walk as children of light.

VIEW FROM MY WINDOW DURING LOCKDOWN

Pictures from our windows during 'lockdown' with a quotation, biblical or otherwise. The editorial team kick off but please let us have your 'picture from a window' in your part of the Benefice. Perhaps after a few months we can make a collage for each church as a reminder that we are a benefice, we care for each other, we share our joys and sadnesses even when we cannot meet physically.

 

 

Matthew 25:35-36  I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Luke 1: 78: By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those  who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.(I did have to lean out of the window and twist)

 

BENEFICE SCHOOLS

The summer term at Enborne Primary School was a term like none other either they, or all Schools in England, had previously experienced. The classroom became whatever space was available at home with parents and carers becoming classroom assistants as lessons came down through the internet.

Modern technology thankfully meant that so much could be provided to help children during the lockdown period. As a Church we stayed in touch both with weekly assemblies which were put on line and outdoor conversations with the Headmaster.

Although some of the children had returned, the challenge of course continued at the end of term. Within the context of social distancing and classroom bubbles, the School sought to make it a special time for Year Six pupils as they prepared to move on to new schools. Picnics and mini sports events on the new playing field helped a lot and whereas there would normally have been a leaving service at St Michael's , this also had to be on line.

Each class prepared songs and poems. Year Six gathered  memories of their time at Enborne and I provided a video recording of reflection, prayer and blessing to conclude the online service. In addition, each one of the children was given a book of memories compiled by the school, a treasure trove of memories.

Our thanks must surely go to the teachers and all those in support who made the term both safe and special for the children at Enborne, in some very trying circumstances. Rev'd Tim

 

 Good morning everyone

We light the candle to remind ourselves that

“Jesus is the Light of the World”
and greet each other:

The Lord be with you

And also with you

 

This has been the opening for “Lockdown School Worship” each week.  After all schools were so speedily closed during the Spring Term, the headteachers of our two Church Schools expressed concern about the children’s spiritual welfare during this time.  So Reverend Tim and I alternately produced a weekly, shared “Assembly” for Enborne and Kintbury Schools.  These covered widely diverse subjects, starting with an imaginative exploration by Tim of how Jesus’ ministry might look today – “THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD,  LOG ONTO JESUS’ WEBSITE.” “JESUS’ ROCK BAND MAKES SUCCESSFUL WORLDWIDE TOUR!” and including Pentecost, Trinity, Church colours, being different etc.  At the end – the symbolic candle was extinguished for the week.

“Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”

In the name of Christ  … Amen

 

I was fortunate enough to attend the Leavers’ Final Assembly at Kintbury St Mary’s School, where I had the pleasure of presenting a Youth Bible to each of the Year 6 children; these were purchased through generous donations from our congregation – I and the school thank you all so much.  We shared reading from Mark’s Gospel about blind Bartimaeus – a man who made a decision that changed his life and sent him out in a new direction following Jesus – it seemed appropriate for those children.  The assembly was delightful – celebratory, forward- and backward-looking, with the appropriate tinge of sadness of farewell and a slideshow of photographs which produced many gasps of “Oh, I remember that!” Jenny

 

AN AUGUST COMMEMORATION

Saint Clare

 Commemorated on 11th August: When Clare was 18, Francis of Assisi came to preach in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. Inspired by his words, Clare asked Francis to help her in dedicating her life to God, and he vowed to do so. The following year (1211), Clare's parents chose a wealthy young man for Clare to marry, but she pointedly refused, fleeing soon after for the Portiuncola Chapel, where Francis received her. She took vows dedicating her life to God, and that moment, occurring on March 20, 1212, marked the beginning of the Second Order of Saint Francis. Clare’s special calling was to the building of a new type of radical religious women’s community. The outcome of her vision was that the community although enclosed, was in fact open to the widest influences of its time, since the brothers who came to preach and seek spiritual guidance and retreat with Clare and her sisters were working in far-flung places – in Africa, the Middle east, even China. In this Diocese the Anglican Community of St. Clare is at Freeland, near Witney. The guest house  is a wonderful place of peace and refreshment. The community supplies altar breads to many churches and has a wonderful selection of original cards.

Clare teaches us to bring our messiness to God.

We are always looking for solutions. God teaches us what we need to know,

we cannot remove or take away all the pain that we witness.

Each of us carries in our hearts people and situations that need our prayers

(Third Order member)

Guest House, Freeland

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In last month's Beacon, Jenny spoke about her experience of racial discrimination. Perhaps a time to consider the life of St. Martin of Porres.

He was born in Lima, Peru on December 9, 1579, the illegitimate son of a  Spanish gentlemen and a freed slave from Panama, of African or possibly Native American descent. The father later abandoned the family.  Martin grew up in deep poverty and  after spending just two years in primary school, he was  placed with a barber/surgeon where he would learn to cut hair and the medical arts. As he grew older, he experienced a great deal of ridicule for being of mixed-race. In Peru, by law, all descendants of African or Indians were not allowed to become full members of religious orders.

 Martin, who spent long hours in prayer, found his only way into the community he longed to join, was to ask the Dominicans of Holy Rosary Priory in Lima to accept him as a volunteer who performed the most menial tasks in the monastery. In return, he would be allowed to wear the habit and live within the religious community. When he was 15, he asked for admission into the Dominican Convent of the Rosary in Lima and was received as a servant boy  eventually becoming up to the church officer in charge of distributing money to deserving poor. At the age of 34 he was assigned to the infirmary where he would remain in charge until his death. He became known for   his carefull  and patient care for the sick, even in the most difficult situations.

Martin was praised for his unconditional care of all people, regardless of race or wealth. He took care of everyone from the Spanish nobles to the African slaves. He didn't care if the person was diseased or dirty,  He has become the patron saint of people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers and more. His feast day is November 3. He was credited with the abilty to communicate with animals. A talent also shared with St. Cuthbert and St Francis.

  END THOUGHT

Adam was a gardener, and God, who made him, sees that half of all good gardening is done upon the knees. (Rudyard Kipling)

Contacts: Priest-in-charge: Rev Mark Wilson, 'phone: (01488) 491105; email:markajwilson1@gmail.com.
Office: Deborah at wbboffice@gmail.com & for Beacon by email.
Beacon items please to:   Penny at ian_fletcher43@btinternet; or Phil at pji@crestednewtcomputing.co.uk.
(Thanks to Penny for producing this edition at short notice in my place. Phil.)