shelswell group logo

Shelswell Group of Parishes

Minister's letter

Under a Rest?

house and gardenAn elderly aunt who died recently was a great admirer of the contralto Kathleen Ferrier. At Auntie’s funeral we listened to a moving piece, ‘O Rest in the Lord’ from Mendelssohn’s Elijah, sung by Kathleen Ferrier.

O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him,
And He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.
Commit thy way unto Him, and trust in Him.

August is traditionally a holiday month, but there may not have been much rest for parents with young children, or for those who have worked throughout the summer, including farmers. For decades, factory workers took their annual summer break during ‘factory fortnight’ and coach firms would run trips to the seaside. This was to allow machinery to be maintained and repaired, also to give their staff time off during the school holidays. The factory fortnight has largely died out of fashion in the UK as employees prefer flexibility as to when they take their leave, and many like to holiday out of season.

Getting away on holiday is not always restful, with delays at airports and so much traffic on the roads. With Sunday trading, there is no longer a common day of rest each week. Life can often seem relentlessly busy.

We all need to allow time for our spiritual lives to be maintained. This is why the Benefice is having an Away Day on 1st October - a Sunday away from responsibilities in our local churches and parishes. It is an opportunity to see things from a wider perspective, to wait on God and discern how we can move forward together, as disciples of Jesus.

The venue is Stanton House, Stanton St John, a Retreat
Centre surrounded by beautiful grounds. Their website states:

‘Stanton House - Where rest, relaxation and refreshment await you, and peace, space and wonder will surprise you, and you will find the opportunity to draw closer to God in a homely atmosphere.’

Of course, some people may feel there is far too much quiet in their lives. The Away Day will also provide opportunities for worship and fellowship, catching up with friends, and getting to know one another better. Sessions will be led by Revd Phil Dykes, who enjoys helping rural churches to grow and flourish. All this and food too!

house and gardenPlease take this opportunity to be Under a Rest on 1st October.

Liz Welters, Associate Minister