The latest monthly letter from our Minister, Revd David Hookins.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
In a strange way November feels more like the final month of the year than December. In December we are so absorbed in Christmas there is little time for reflection on the past year, whereas November is full of remembrance and reflection.
As we begin to look back at the year we also look back further at our past and seek to remember sadder but significant times, such as the deaths of those we have loved.On 3rd November we had the SANDS (stillbirthand neonatal death) service led by the Chaplains from Salisbury District Hospital. It is a simple service of remembrance of infants who never had a chance to grow into little children.
Also on 3rd November our evening service we had our All Souls Service in which we remember those who have died. This year some people brought a copy of the funeral service with a photograph and put them at the front of the church so that we could see those whom we were remembering, there was also an opportunity to light a candle.
These personal remembrances are followed by the national Remembrance Sunday on 10thNovember. This is our time for remembering all those who have given their lives in conflicts, both from this country and abroad, both military and civilian. This remembrance reminds us of the true cost of war: death and injury; families displaced and separated; old people, women and children disproportionately affected; the growth of refugees.
It should also remind us of the ongoing violence in our world, whether that be in wars, such as Syria and Yemen; or civil strife as in Hong Kong and Peru; or between individuals or groups. Unfortunately, these disputes spill into the life of the Church dividing Catholic from Protestant, Church of England from non-Conformist, even one type of Methodist from another with long held rivalries between ex-Wesleyans and ex-Primitives! Such positions have no place in the Church.
Following Jesus, St Francis called people to see all things as their brothers and sisters, whether that be other people or things in nature or even death.
Such a mind-set steps out of our conviction that we are separate from what is other and reminds us that we are one with it, as God made it to be. So we are to be peacemakers in a world of division, not just by what we say but by the way we seek to live every moment in harmony with God, our neighbours and God’s world.
Your brother in Christ,