Dark Times and Faith
Virus Update – “In a time of fear, we must all be Good Samaritans”
So wrote Archbishops of Canterbury and York some weeks ago. The UK has a culture of caring expressed in many ways, not just by the NHS, but of each other. A healthy and informed fear helps us to be aware of and care for those at risk, without grumbling but with fortitude. Last month’s magazine went out largely before the major effects of Covid-19 were felt. In this one we try to be more positive. The parable of the Good Samaritan directs us away from panic hoarding towards recognising the weak and vulnerable in society – towards a positive Loving your Neighbour as yourself.
The challenges of 2020 will remain for some length of time. Look at that parable in St Luke’s Gospel chapter 10 verses 30-37.
Accordingly, and with great regret All Saints is closed for Corporate Worship. I hope it will be open as soon as possible. Graveside funerals with very limited attendance is still possible as I write.
A Happier Note
Two people are in my mind as they leave their posts after hard work over many years, and they more than deserve a mention. Olwen Parton has given faithful service for just over 30 years as Parish Office Secretary at the frontline, meeting the enormous number of queries, requests and, yes, grumbles for those wishing to contact All Saints’. Weddings, funerals and baptisms were all booked through her, and as the first port of call I guess most of you will know her pleasant smiling welcome into the office, even though she might be doing the weekly sheet or the next magazine entry. She has seen many Rectors come and go, and over the years demands and choices have grown as the post has got more complex. We will thank her for her many years of faithful service when this crisis is over and we have the APCM, the church’s annual meeting after the morning services.
Olwen retires on May 1 and we welcome Sam Gridgeman to the post. You may recognise Sam as she worked at the Badgerswood Chemist for a while. Olwen will be around when we restart (maybe with Sam for a handover) to give advice on the knottier problems that arise and to help Sam get her feet under the table. The PCC and I very much welcome Sam.
Ruth Worswick has been the Head Teacher at The Holme for almost six years now and came to Headley a few weeks before I did. She inherited a school in Special Measures. The size of the school has risen by nearly 50% in that time, but with very long hours, hard work and determination it is now rated by SIAMS (the church’s inspectors) and OFSTED as ‘good’. Ruth dedication to duty is immense and, as with most excellent Heads, is met with a desire to keep teaching, something that Educationalists sometimes fail to grasp. Ruth will take up a post in Portsmouth, nearer home, for a similar school and she will start there in September. The staff, parents, pupils and local Governors will be very, very sad to see her go – and with the hub reorganisation pending for the 15 schools in the Good Shepherd Trust (which is an offshoot of Guildford Diocese), they particularly want to determine a continuation of the level of teaching and nurture to pupils at the School. As for Ruth, with tears we know that the new school will have gained an excellent Head Teacher.
Keep the Faith – Pray for those in Need and Our Country, its Leaders and the Prime Minister.
Yours in Christ,