St Peter & St Paul

South Petherton, with the Seavingtons

and the Lambrooks

The Rector’s Letter for October

Autumnal greetings!

I’ve been thinking a bit recently, on and off, about how the Gospel writers all in their own ways declare the closeness of he Kingdom of God in and through Jesus. That might sound a bit intense for a short letter and don’t worry I’m not going to launch into anything dense (in any sense of the word!). However, this season of the year provides some good opportunities for us to hold, prayerfully and practically (as if there is any separation between the two) ways in which faith provides gateways and opportunities for the closeness of God to be particularly evident - for boundaries to be blurred and broken and, even in the darkening of the seasons, for light to shine.

As a benefice we will celebrate the following over the Autumn months:

Harvest - A chance for the church to be a people of thanks and reflect this in, for and through the community. A spirit of the season as well as a series of events.

All Saints/All Souls - opportunities for hopeful remembrance and thanksgiving for those who have gone before us and whose memories we treasure. Our Service of Light is appreciated by many. Shall we go for a record attendance? (If everybody brought somebody etc, etc.)

Remembrance Sunday -  with our community focused services at our village memorials.. Always a mixture of thanks, sadness, anger, regret, and hope. (Personally I find this one of the most difficult Sundays of the year as there are too many expectations  and feelings to hold together, too many sharp edges to hold safely, and there is almost always upset somewhere. Maybe that’s the point…..)

Advent Sunday(just in the Autumn this year!) - Where the church takes its place and plays its part amongst a buzzing Sunday afternoon in Petherton. Yet still with the gentle expectation and whisper of of what (who) is coming.

Not an exhaustive list, but some wonderful opportunities to take part, to invite, to support, to pray.

There is a common notion that faith belongs in its allotted space, in the head, in the ‘church building’ only, tucked away in its ‘proper and traditional place’. Jesus has a two fingered response to this. By which I mean the traditional two fingers of Christ’s blessing - obviously! What did you think I meant…..?

If Christian faith is any sort of faith then ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is very near’ - whether we like it or not - ‘bidden or unbidden’ as the saying goes. Therein is opportunity. Therein is invitation. Therein is blessing waiting to be unleashed.        Rev. Tom