Reap what you sow
Associate Rector's letter - October 2005
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – I love this time of year; the changing colours, the slight chill in the air, the celebration of harvest, and I realise I may be unusual in this, I even like the nights drawing in. Autumn for us as church communities has much going on; in the month of October we shall celebrate harvest, being thankful for all that we receive, remembering the hard work and sadly too often the poor wages of those who produce the world's food. We shall also remember One World Week, for All Saints it will be their patronal festival, and there will be a commissioning of lay chaplains to work alongside David McCoulough in his work around our city centre shops and businesses.
Each church has their own particular events, and yet as churches working together we look out to our city and our world and ask what we have to say, what perspective we may have on the events that affect the whole world. There will be a City Debate held at St Peters which will reflect on the bombings in London in July; and as we think of our own city and its difficulties we know that the questions asked at that debate will be as applicable to us as to London. They will force us to ask ourselves about what kind of society we are that bombings, shootings, drug related crime are common place.
Reap what you sow? On the day of the bombings 7th July a memorial service was due to take place at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, for a man called Peter Benenson – the church was packed despite many being delayed. Peter was the founder of Amnesty International. Forty five years ago in a café in Lisbon two students raised their glasses in a toast to freedom; this gesture led to their arrest and a sentence of seven years imprisonment. A British barrister, reading of their trial in the paper on his way to work was so outraged that he broke his journey, and went into St Martins church to sit alone in silence; he then marshalled everyone he knew and within months Amnesty International was born. I pray that in the busyness of October our churches will be places where those wrestling with the injustices of the world, and those full of sorrow because of the pain of the world, might find in the quietness and in the beauty of worship strength to speak and act, to love and pray, to sow that others might reap.
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