From the Vicarage February 2020

At winter funerals I often observe that waiting in the cold dark earth are snowdrops and daffodils and crocuses, and that even when earth stands hard as iron, water like a stone, the promise of spring and new birth is never entirely lost.

I hope it doesn’t sound too pat or practised when I say it. I certainly mean it, but as a new widow I have found that the words we use to soothe the pain of loss are very often of limited effectiveness. Words of condolence are always appreciated, and also practical help: dog care, clearing up, tidying the garden.

Thank you to so many parishioners and friends who have done all those, and for your kind condolences.

There’s no way round it, though. Loss is loss, and when it befalls you, the task is to find a way of going forwards. One day at a time – sometimes one hour at a time – the path ahead begins to open up. There are days when it doesn’t go so well, there are obstructions on the route ahead, your fuel may run low; but forward we must go.

The Church’s year goes forward too, from Candlemas and into Lent, when all our most grievous losses must be reckoned. But onward we go, for beyond even the worst that Good Friday can throw at us, the promise of life new life endures, as fresh as the spring, only enteral and unfading.

Yours in Christ,


Fr Richard.