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Karen's Corner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘After three…’

 

Saturday morning brought our second Women’s Breakfast event in The Perranwell Centre. Sausage baps and bacon rolls were on the menu long with an offering of boiled eggs and continental breakfast. Pints of tea and coffee were drunk and the room was full of chat and laughter. The music quiz challenged our guests to name the bands and singers who sang songs with women’s names in the title. When it came to Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond and Delilah by Tom Jones there was an impromptu sing along with arms waving! It was an unexpected but funny moment in what was a really lovely morning. A huge thanks to Paul, Ian and Adrian for clearing, making toast and doing copious amounts of washing up. It was good to see so many women from across Devoran and Perranarworthal catching up and enjoying themselves and no washing up! After breakfast bags of breakfast were taken by guest to those who were feeling poorly or housebound. Chris and I made our way around Perranarworthal and Carnon Downs delivering breakfast bags. A great way for those who couldn’t come along to share breakfast and to check in on folk. Our breakfast events are some of our favourite times and Chris and I love to host them. There are no costs to the churches incurred churches and we do not charge for breakfast. However, guests always give generously to the Waterside churches in donations, for which we are very grateful.

Sunday afternoon’s Celtic service of worship brought unexpected laughter as we tried to get ourselves into some kind of order before the service! It was more ‘Carry On’ than Celtic serenity! Once we got underway the theme of ‘Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord’ brought us all a sense of togetherness and serenity. Celtic worship services are always a pleasure to write and to lead and we always come away from them uplifted.

The second session of our Lent Course takes place on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm in St Piran’s church hall. If you have missed the first session, not to worry. I have put the course materials onto the website.. If you are considering being Confirmed in the faith please do come along to our informal first session on Wednesday evening at 6pm in The Devoran Parish Centre. It is an opportunity to find out about the Confirmation course, to hear from others who have been Confirmed and to ask questions. Refreshments will be served.

If you were in church on Sunday morning you will have heard a statement from Bishop Hugh concerning St Feock church read by our Church Wardens. I have attached the statement if you have not heard it..

As of now I will not be ministering in St Feock but will be continuing to minister in Devoran and Perranarworthal, as normal.

A few weeks ago Bishop Hugh asked Archdeacon Nick to undertake a Visitation in Feock. The Visitation Team spent two days speaking to members of the St Feock PCC, myself and the Church Wardens from Devoran and St Piran’s. He then compiled his report which was given to Bishop Hugh for his consideration. I have met with Bishop Hugh, as have the PCC members from St Feock (who received feedback from the Visitation) and the Church Wardens from Devoran and St Piran’s. Discussions will continue and I will meet the Bishop again this week.

Bishop Hugh has provided some information to be shared with the congregations in his statement.. It has been a very difficult time for everyone who has been involved and I would appreciate your prayer as we all go forward.

At this point we know nothing more than Bishop Hugh has shared in his statement and I hope that if you have any concerns or questions that you will contact me. I may not be able to answer your questions (and I will be honest about that) as a way forward for the churches is found. There is much more to be discussed and then plans put into place.

As we travel through Lent together I hope and pray that our focus will be on our Lent Course, Our Confirmation Course and all of the other good things that are happening in our churches. My ministry in Devoran and Perranarworthal will remain unchanged.. I have not published fully the Services for Holy Week until now as the rota has had to be amended to reflect the change in my ministerial calendar. St Piran’s Church and Devoran Church will both have a service of Holy Communion at 10am on Easter Day. I will be leading the service in Devoran and The Revd Martyn Pinnock has kindly agreed to lead a service in Perranarworthal. These services will follow a Sunrise Service at 6am on Devoran Quay, which I will lead. This service has proved to be popular and it is a wonderful way to start the celebration on Easter Day.Our Mothering Sunday Services will be at 10am on 10th March. I will be leading a service of Holy Communion in Devoran and Chris will be leading a Service Of The Word at St Piran’s and Paul Stuart will be giving the talk.. I am always conscious that Mothering Sunday can be a wonderful celebration of all those who play a motherly role in our lives but it can also be difficult for some.. Our services will honour and celebrate mothers as well as acknowledge that some have a difficult relationship with their own Mother, have no relationship at all or who are mourning the loss of their Mum.. Personally, it is a tricky day for me.

It is a privilege to celebrate Mothering Sunday and it is always a special day. I would have loved to have had children and I am aware that I am now old enough to have Grandchildren! Like me, there are many women who find the day hard if they too have longed for children or are finding it hard to have them. I appreciate that it is a special day for Mums as they are celebrated but I hope and pray that we are all mindful of those amongst us for whom it is a difficult day.. As a Priest I have the ‘cure of souls’ for everyone in our parishes and part of that role is a motherly one, which is a huge blessing. During my Curacy my Training Incumbent was Father David and I was down as Mother Karen. I am also ‘Mum’ to our two fur babies, Willow and Marnie. In truth, I think that I am more their slave than their parent…

Whatever your week holds, may it be blessed.

Revd KarenTo the church communities of the Waterside Benefice

 

Following the recent Visitation of Feock church, led by Archdeacon Nick, it is with a heavy heart that I have come to the decision that there has been an irreparable breakdown in the relationship between Feock PCC and Revd Karen Wilson. In these circumstances it is not reasonable to expect Revd Karen to continue ministering in Feock, and I have therefore asked her to step down from her role as priest in charge of Feock Church with immediate effect.

Her fruitful ministry in Devoran and Perranaworthal will continue unchanged. I am deeply grateful to her for being willing to do so.. I am looking for some part time and temporary priestly ministry to work with Feock PCC and church for the next few months, and will be back in touch when I know who will carry that role.

Lent is a season for honest self examination and repentance, and ends with the assurance of forgiveness and new hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I encourage all three church communities to use this Lenten season to pray earnestly for Revd Karen, the Church Wardens and PCC’s, and for one another, to repent where that is needed and to look to Christ for healing, hope and new life..  Christ. +Hugh

‘Well, I wasn’t expecting that…’

 

I wasn’t expecting to be starting my Wednesday afternoon off by having to veer off the road near Playing Place to avoid a motorcyclist who was driving dangerously. On a wet road the biker overtook me at speed and then swerved in front of me, wobbled on the slippery road and stopped dead. To avoid him I had to leave the road and ended up on a patch of very handy grass.

 

The biker didn’t stop, he just shot off into the distance and I was helped by a very nice woman who called 999.

 

I have found that I don’t bounce like I did when I was younger… I turn 57 next month and for the following couple of days I creaked like an old barn door. No permanent damage done and it could have been a lot worse. I was taken very good care of by Chris who plied me with painkillers and copious amounts of tea.

 

We are now well into the second week in Lent and a parishioner asked me what I thought Lent was all about.

 

What is Lent all about? What is the passion and death of Christ all about? It could be summed up in one word. A well-used word, so well used that is has become trite. The word is love. Only love makes Christ believable. Only love makes sense out of Lent, out of the passion and death of Christ.

Perhaps, no other word better sums up Lent than the word passion, the passion of Christ. Something happened to Him. He suffered. The priests plotted again Him. Judas kissed Him. The crowd laid hands on Him. Herod laughed at Him. Pilate delivered Him to be crucified. The guard whipped Him. The soldiers nailed Him to wood. The passers-by jeered at Him. A thief cursed Him. And He died.

What happened to Jesus? What He suffered makes sense only in the context of what He did. The one thing He did supremely more than anything else, better than anyone else, He loved.

When Jesus knew that His hour had come for Him to pass out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. Loved them to the uttermost limit of love, loved them totally and loved them to death. It is because of love of us, of you and me that Christ died. No other reason.

St. Paul sums it up – God loved me and gave Himself for me. Show me a man writhing on a cross and I will be moved to pity, to disgust, and to horror at man’s inhumanity to man. Show me a man writhing on a cross in love and surrendering His body to crucifixion because He loves me. Then I will be drawn to belief, to self-giving, to love in return.

This is the challenge of Lent and of Holy Week. The effort of love to draw love. His love to draw mine. We are reminded of His love at every Mass. That moment when time turns back and Calvary comes alive in the words – This is My body, which is given up for you. This is My blood, which is poured out for you. It is love alone that makes Christ believable.

So it follows that love alone makes the Christian believable. Christianity is not an idea floating freely in outer space. Christianity is people, God’s people. Christ and Christianity will be believable only if your love makes you believable.

Your love as a Christian will be believable only if you realise that your love is not believable enough. Only if we are honest enough to confess that Christianity is less attractive than it should be because our love is less believable than it should be.

So many of us Christians think that it is the person next to them or the previous generation or the Bishop and the institutional Church that is lacking in love. But we are all members of the Church and what we do, the Church does. What we fail to do, the Church fails to do. Because of us people should know or at least suspect that Christ loved them enough to die for them.

Christ now works through us and we have to be other Christs. That is a tall order, but it is a mandate we all received at our Baptism, to be like Him in His life and in His love. It may not be easy. It may mean a crucifixion, but it also includes a resurrection.

Love one another as I have loved you – by this, all will know that you are My disciples.

Wednesday afternoon at 2pm in St Piran’s Church Hall we will meet again for our next session in our Lent Course. Please do join us as we explore more about what the Sabbath means for us.

May I ask you to keep Paul Stuart and his family in your prayers. His Mum, Betty, died last week. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

We wish Veronica Ecclestone much happiness as she moves home. She begins a new adventure close to Chichester and will be closer to her family. Veronica has been a faithful and devoted member of the St Piran’s congregation and we will all miss her. She goes with our love and best wishes.

Joyce and Rod Toms celebrated 67 years of marriage on Sunday and it was a privilege to conduct a marriage blessing in their home for them. I was joined by Paul Stuart, who led the readings and Jan and Clive Buckingham who were witnesses. I provided buttonholes for the couple to add a festive touch to the celebrations and we blew bubbles instead of covering their sitting room in confetti! Chris played the No1 on the ‘pop parade’ from that day, ‘True Love Ways’ by Buddy Holly.

Whatever your week holds, may it be blessed.

Revd Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Coming over all poetic…’

I have been a fan of Dame Judy Dench for years and always enjoy any film that she is. ‘Ladies in Lavender’ is one of my favourites and I could also listen to her reciting Shakespeare for hours…

 

She is almost blind now and recites poetry and prose from memory. As someone who can’t always remember what’s on a shopping list this is a skill that I admire hugely.

 

I watched her recite the poem ‘Loveliest of Trees’ by A.E Housman last night and it struck me that it is was a beautiful poem for this time of year as we eagerly await the spring.

 

A.E Housman1859 –1936

 

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Dame Judy Dench is also known for her naughty sense of humour and she has the most infectious chuckle. Laughter can be a wonderful release and I can recall the comedian Ken Dodd describing it as ‘Stretching the chuckle muscles’.

Spring is definitely on the way as the daffodils and snowdrops poke their heads above the ground and begin to bloom. It won’t be long until the cherry trees begin to blossom and the days start to warm up.

There is something wonderful about the continuity and pattern of the changing seasons. We are assured that the earth will wake up from the cold and the darkness of winter and the days will get longer and warmer. There is a reassuring constancy about the turning of the seasons and a hope that comes from the earth awakening from the winter.

As Christians, the Lenten and Easter Seasons reassuringly come around every year and we are now turning our hearts and minds to the season of Lent. Lent is a good time to be able to turn to scripture, to examine our own lives and to draw together in learning and sharing.

As I write this it is Shrove Tuesday or as many know it, Pancake Day. Chris and I have a tradition that we do not have dinner on Shrove Tuesday. I make a batch of pancakes and we have those instead. When Chris and I first got married he could manage about 6 pancakes before he caved and was full. Now, as the years have rolled on he can manage three before he has had enough.

We are both traditionalists and our pancakes are served with lemon juice and sugar. Well, I just have the lemon and forgo the dusting of sugar. I leave the addition of a spoonful of sugar to Chris.

Shrove Tuesday comes originally from the word shrive, meaning ‘absolve’. As the last day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday was a day of self examination where Christians would consider what they needed to repent of and what changes to their life or spiritual growth they would focus on during the fast.

While Shrove Tuesday was a day for the purification of the soul, it also had practical significance too, from which would emerge our modern day tradition of pancakes.

If you are having pancakes today I do hope that you will enjoy them!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent. The day gets it’s name from the traditional blessing of the ashes taken after the burning of palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

Our Lent Course begins tomorrow at 2pm in St Piran’s Church hall and will be followed by our Ash Wednesday service of Holy Communion and imposition of ashes at 3.30 in the church. All are welcome and all materials will be provided.

 

If you cannot come along to the service please do let me know if you would like a private imposition of ashes.

 

Lent is an important journey of penitence, of prayer and of learning. We journey through Lent together and I hope that you will join me at our Lent Course. The course is based on the book, ‘Balance’ by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield. Life balance is an opportunity to examine our patterns of rest, work and play, and to look afresh at our values and life principles in the light of the Bible’s teaching about the Sabbath.

 

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday for the first session of our course and for our Lent service.

 

On Saturday of this week (17th) Chris and I will be hosting the second of our Women’s Breakfast events in the Perranwell Centre (The West Room). We will begin serving food at 9am. There will be plenty to go around so please do not be overly concerned if you haven’t booked a place as yet. Please do give me a call or text on 07591 240 640 if you would like to book a meal. There is no charge for this event and it is a great opportunity to get together and to enjoy having breakfast cooked for you. The chaps will be doing the washing up too!

 

Whatever your week holds, may it be blessed.

 

Revd Karen

 

 

I get seasick getting out of the bath…

 

 Sunday’s Gospel is a familiar story. It is the story of the storm at sea. As we know, Jesus’ disciples became very frightened when a severe storm came up. Despite the fact that several of the disciples were experienced fishermen, the disciples were terrified. The storm was ferocious and waves were beginning to swamp their boat. And unbelievably, Jesus remained sound asleep in the boat while the storm raged all around him.

 

How He managed to sleep amongst the raging storm I just don’t know. I get seasick getting out of the bath! I love the water but I have real trouble finding my sea legs.

 

Finally, his disciples woke him up, begging him to save them. However, Jesus rebuked them and asked: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Jesus stood up and rebuked the winds and the seas and immediately calm descended on the waters and on the disciples. Jesus’ disciples were awed and amazed! They asked themselves: who is this man whom the winds and waves obey?

 

Many of us have times in our lives when we have been very frightened. Almost seven years ago I had to undergo emergency surgery. I was told by the Anaesthetist that, if I survived, I would wake up in Intensive Care and a machine would be helping me to breathe. I was terrified. I said my goodbyes to Chris and was convinced that I would never see him again.

 

What was the “storm” that created such turmoil and fear in your life? Did you turn to Jesus and beg him to rescue you? Or did you simply hunker down in your little boat and hold on tight?

 

At times in our lives, Jesus may appear to be asleep in our boat when we desperately need his help and grace to get us through the ferocious storm we are experiencing.

Despite his seeming absence or lack of concern, do we continue to trust that he truly is with us and that he is gracing us even if we don’t feel it? Often, it only is with hindsight that we come to know and believe that Jesus was with us every moment.

 

When we are upset or fearful, we automatically batten down the hatches, as the sailors would say. In our language we would say: “we shut down.” And perhaps we need to shut down momentarily.

 

I carried a holding cross with me into surgery. A wonderful nurse, Theresa, leant over me and we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together. She had to take my holding cross with her as I could not be left with it in surgery. She promised to return it to me when I awoke. This calmed the waves of the storm that was threatening to overcome me and stopped me from ‘shutting down’ completely.

It is with hindsight that I saw that God was with me when I was at my most vulnerable and afraid. Two nurses, Theresa and Mona Lisa (yes, that really was her name!) were Christians and I am sure that God put them into my path. Neither of them should have been on duty when I was admitted to hospital but there they were…

 

I wont say that it was easy to pray before I went into surgery but Theresa was there to help me. Again, in hindsight God was there in so many ways that I did not appreciate at the time. I had to go through the storm; to have the surgery and all that it brought with it but God was there in the midst of it all. I didn’t want the surgery, I was so frightened but God was there throughout it all. He knew what I needed and He didn’t desert me when I needed him.

We are assured that, whatever life throws at us, God is there even when we feel that he may be very far away. He isn’t, He is closer to us than our own breath.

We can lean into Him and He will be there, we can trust in that.

 

I met with the family of the late Joan North last week to organise her funeral service. Joan’s funeral is on 5th February at 11am in St Feock church. This will be followed by a service of burial in the churchyard. Joan’s family spoke about her faith and her conviction that she was going home to God and to be with Colin once again. She felt that God was with her and that there was a calmness about her conviction. What a blessing that must have been to her.

 

On Saturday morning Chris and I hosted a ‘Thank You’ coffee morning for our church volunteers in Devoran. Over 50 folk gathered and it was a joyous morning. I love to stand back and to watch the friendship, fellowship, chatter and laughter that go on at these gatherings. It certainly makes my heart glad.

It is also an opportunity for me to be able to thank our volunteers in person and to serve them as they have served others.

 

Many folk gathered from Devoran and St Piran’s church and it was good to welcome Jackie and Monica from St Feock church. One of the comments that was made to me was that these events are a lovely way to get to know people from our churches better and to catch up with them over a cup of tea and some cake.

 

Saturday was National Chocolate Cake Day and so I baked a triple chocolate cake  in honour of the day. I also made some gluten free chocolate brownies for the first time. Unfortunately, the lemon and orange flavoured Bundt cake that I made was a talking point, for the wrong reason! I coloured half of the mixture with lilac food colouring (the tube definitely said Lilac! I wanted it to match the serviettes…). Well, when I cut it on Saturday morning the lilac colour was more like Armadillo grey! It didn’t look exactly enticing.

At least the chocolate cakes looked like chocolate and the ginger caked looked like a ginger cake. I have learned my lesson where trying to colour match is concerned!

 

I had brought along some paper ‘doggy bags’ and it was good to see folk taking cake away for their loved ones, neighbours and friends. It was good to think that our hospitality as a benefice went out into the wider community. I am convinced that cake has it’s own ministry!

 

Chris was given a real treat on Saturday morning by Jackie Bray. She had made him his favourite, rice pudding! It didn’t last long after dinner last night. It was very kind of Jackie and made the Vicar’s husband very happy!

 

Speaking of food, Chris has promised to make me his delicious spaghetti bolognaise this evening. He is a good cook and it is one of his signature dishes.

He is looking forward to getting the BBQ out again once the weather improves. Chris is already talking about a benefice BBQ in the summer.

 

Whatever your week holds, may it be blessed.

 

Revd Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I think that the doing needs her eyes tested…

 

This week Marnie, our Bulldog, at two pairs of my reading glasses. I don’t know how she finds them but she does. I am now becoming concerned that she is trying to tell me something….

Does she need her eyes testing? Is she trying to put them on and they get chewed in the process, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am down two pairs of readers and Marnie may not make it to her second birthday…

 

I am very short sighted and wear contact lenses that I sleep in. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see to get up in the morning and I would probably step on another upturned plug…

My lenses are a Godsend and whoever invented contact lenses that you can sleep in needs to be given a Knighthood. When I change them each week I am always surprised by how little I can see when I am not wearing them.

 

As I have got older I now need reading glasses as well as the lenses. I keep pairs all over the house and in the car. I even keep a pair in the bathroom so that I can read packaging. Why, dear reader, are the instructions on food and toiletry packaging written so that you need a magnifying glass to read them?!

I have in the past sprayed hairspray onto my underarms mistaking it for deodorant. I won’t make that sticky error again.

 

I have worn glasses since I was 11 years old. My Mum chose my first pair of glasses at the opticians. I was a very quiet child and she was a very opinionated woman. The truth is that I had not choice, they were her choice. I ended up with metal, aviator style frames that made me look like a boy I thought. I had my hair cut very short at the time and that didn’t help. As my curly hair grew again I then looked like Leo Sayer…

 

My mother convinced me to have ‘polaroid’ lenses which went darker in brighter light. Bear in mind that this was in the 80’s and technology was not what it is today. The lenses did indeed darken in bright light but took an age to revert back to clear again once I stepped indoors. I would fumble around in relative darkness until they had cleared and I must have looked like a mole that was emerging from underground. They were a nuisance and moving around school with them changing from clear to dark was a bit of a trial.

 

My next pair of glasses Mum also chose and they were very ’80’s’. I looked like Deirdre Barlow from Coronation Street. They were in shades of pink and blue and were HUGE! This wasn’t the look that I was aiming for as a thirteen year old. I did manage to convince Mum that I didn’t need the polarising lenses, which was a relief.

 

As soon as I was old enough I decided that I would wear contact lenses. It saved on the glasses fogging up each time I went into a warm room from outside and it made games easier at school. I was terrified of a flying netball breaking my specs.

 

I don’t buy expensive reading glasses as I have so many pairs dotted around the house. I have a penchant for fancy colours and styles. I think that it may be a reaction to the dreadful styles I wore as a teenager.

 

This morning I found a rather nice pair in three pieces on the living room floor, chewed beyond use by a guilty looking Marnie. When I have less than four pairs left I know that it is time to get some more.

 

I often read in bed and last night I woke up in the middle of the night with my reading glasses perched on top of my head. I have no idea why and I try not to perch glass on my head. I have a large head and I tend to snap the arms that way.

 

Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light" (Matthew 6:22). Here our Lord describes the eye as a lamp which lights the entire body.

 

Our eyes are the entrance to our hearts and minds and, as such, they provide a doorway to our very souls. When He referred to “good” eyes, He meant eyes that not only see well, but also perceive well.

 

It is not only what we see, but how we perceive what we see that makes the difference between godliness and ungodliness, between light and darkness. Bad eyes lead to bad perception, but if our eyes are good, our whole person will be illuminated.

 

If we are in a lighted room, we see everything clearly. We can move around obstacles and locate whatever we’re looking for. But walking in darkness results in stumbling, falling, and groping for some secure thing to hang on to.

 

The eyes are the windows to the soul, so the saying goes. As I have been writing that saying popped into my head. It is believed that it may be a very old Latin saying.

The soul is a house that has windows that are eyes. The soul is a house that has an unusually small number of windows—only two.

If our eyes are the windows to our souls then our (if we have any) under-eye bags are the window-box planters to the soul. I am not a good sleeper and often have under eye bags. I need my reading glasses to try and fathom out how to follow the instructions as to how to use eye cream to reduce them. Joan Collins purported that cream for Haemorrhoids was good for them. The cream tightened skin and would therefore tighten the skin under the eyes. I can not confirm this as I would not dare to give it a go.

The eyelids are the window shutters to the soul. They’re on the tops and the bottoms of the windows, instead of on the sides. The soul has always got to be different but there we go.

Well, I am off to purchase another pair of readers and I hope that whatever your week brings, it is blessed.

Revd Karen

‘It was all about Love…’

 

Last Thursday afternoon  we received the coffin of our brother in Christ, Owen, into St Piran’s church. We were joined by members of Owen’s family and our church family to sit vigil as he laid in our church over night.

 

Friday’s funeral service brought over 140 folk from the across the diocese and the country to pay their respects to a much loved Priest. We were joined by clergy from across the diocese, including the Rev Canon Roger Bush and his wife, the Diocesan Secretary The Revd canon Simon Cade and The Revd Liz Harris who represented our Methodist brothers and sisters.

 

I was joined by The Revd Canon Jem Thorold who read our Lesson and The Revd canon Nigel Marne who paid tribute to Owen, who had inspired Nigel’s ministry. Tributes were given by Paul Stuart on behalf of St Piran’s church and I was privileged to be able to pay tribute to Owen’s ministry.

 

After the service followed a private cremation at Penmount Crematorium and a gathering of Owen’s family and friends in the church hall for refreshments.

 

On Friday morning over 30 members of the late John Dowding’s family gathered for a graveside service of commendation and committal at St Piran’s church. The mourners were led by John’s devoted wife, Cynthia.

 

It was a bitterly cold day and Chris and I were very appreciative of being invited back to Cynthia’s home for a cup of tea and a pasty before the service of celebration for John’s life.

 

Over 170 folk gathered at 2pm in St Piran’s Church to give thanks for John’s life and to celebrate all that he was to each of us. Tributes were paid by his grandchildren, who read beautifully, and also by Trevor, his son in law. Our prayers were led by another of John’s longstanding friends, Tony.

Both Owen and John were much loved and respected members of our church family and the wider community. They will be very much missed but leave legacies behind them of love, charity, kindness and of Christian faith.

At the 8.30am service of BCP Holy Communion the lighting and heating went off just as I was going to distribute the elements. The rest of our service was held in candlelight and with David Harris kindly holding his torch over my service book!

For the 10am service we all pitched in and moved whatever was needed over to the church hall. Juliet was set up with the keyboard and a table altar was set up for Communion.

After such a busy and emotionally tiring few days for our community it was actually a blessing in disguise. God moves in mysterious ways and a simpler, more intimate service was just what we all needed. I scrapped my planned sermon and we talked about Jesus’ command to ‘follow me’ instead.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Church Wardens, Juliet our organist, our bell ringers and all of our volunteers at St Piran’s church. It has been a difficult time with the deaths of two much loved congregation members. However, with love, time and energy, our church officers and volunteers made the weekend of funeral services and services of worship go smoothly.

I have received emails and phone calls about the services and the words that were repeated over and over were, ‘love, welcome and warmth’. From Thursday afternoon until Sunday over 380 folk attended church. Some came to just one of the services and some came to all. At each one the church opened its doors and warmly welcomed everyone, reflecting the love of Christ to all.

I do hope that they all manage to take some time out to rest and to recharge their batteries.

We never truly know what people ‘take away’ from services and how they touch hearts and minds. We follow the message of Christ to love others as He has loved us and God takes care of the rest.

At our JCC meeting this week we will be opening our discussions on the Prayers and Blessing for same sex couples that are now allowed during our services of worship. Please do keep the JCC members in your prayers as we discuss this very sensitive subject. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the Prayers of Blessing please do get in touch with me for a chat.

On 27th January Chris and I are hosting a ‘Thank You Coffee Morning’ for all of our volunteers across our three churches. If you, or someone you now, volunteered in any way over Advent and Christmas you are warmly invited to join us. It is an opportunity to get together and to catch up over coffee and cake.

Lent begins early this year (February 14th) and we will be holding our Lent Course in St Piran’s Church hall at 2pm each Wednesday afternoon, for five weeks. All course materials will be provided and our course will be based on the book, ‘Balance’ by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield.

There is a dedicated page on our website for Lent, as we usually do. Thank you to Paul for setting this up for us. Please do keep an eye on the website for regular Lent based articles, reflections and prayers.

The weather is set to be very cold for this week so please do keep warm and safe. If you are concerned about the cold weather/heating or an elderly neighbour please do get in touch.

Whatever you week holds, may it be blessed.

Revd Karen

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted’ Matthew 5:4

 

We shall gather in St Piran’s Church this week for the funeral services of two much beloved members of our congregation.

 

On Thursday afternoon at 4pm we will gather for the receiving of the coffin of the late Revd Owen Blatchly. There will follow a short vigil before he rests overnight in the church that he loved. All are welcome.

 

On Friday 12th January Owen’s Funeral will be held at 10am. All are welcome and I have had many emails and phone calls from his previous parishes and friends who wish to come along and pay their respects to Owen.

 

After the funeral there is a private cremation (by invitation only) at Penmount Crematorium. Refreshments will be served in the church hall after the funeral service. Please do stay and continue to share your stories and memories of Owen and Beryl, his late wife.

 

Owen was a real character and served the Lord as a Priest for many decades. He will be greatly missed by the congregation and the wider benefice. His ministry was greatly appreciated by everyone. He was not only a Priest to the community but a friend and a shepherd.

He missed his beloved wife Beryl (or Beryl the Peril as he called her!). He longed to be reunited with her and found his declining health frustrating. Carers and congregation gathered around Owen and looked after him until his recent death. I will always remember the twinkle that was always in Owen’s eye and his welcoming of both Chris and I when we arrived in Cornwall.

 

Owen had recently celebrated his 93rd birthday and received a surprise visit from Bishop Hugh. Unsurprisingly, when asked by +Hugh about ministry Owen’s response spoke of love. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

On Saturday 13th January we will gather for a service to celebrate the life of the late John Dowding. The service begins at 2pm and all are welcome.

Prior to this service there will be a private burial in the parish graveyard. This service will be attended by close family only.

 

John was a much loved member of the St Piran’s congregation and he will be greatly missed. John’s life will be celebrated on Saturday afternoon and we will recall the kind, gentle, loving man that he was. John was a bell ringer, he had been a Church Warden, a supporter of local charities and if he saw that someone needed help always stepped in. He was a true Christian soul.

 

John’s wife Cynthia has cared for John devotedly since his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Both John and Cynthia are greatly resected by our community and there are many folk who will be joining us to celebrate his life on Saturday afternoon. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

It is never easy when a loved one and a member of our church congregation dies and we gather to say goodbye and to celebrate their life.

 

There is a natural longing in the human heart for peace, friendship, love and happiness – for a life that is purposeful and worthwhile. And there is an even deeper longing, sometimes quiet or hidden. This longing is to discover the ultimate meaning of life, to know the love of God, and to share in a destiny beyond the horizon of death.

As St Augustine of Hippo, one of the great teachers of the Church, wrote: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

The Christian understanding of death is inseparable from the Christian understanding of life.

On the other hand, Christians who have faith can approach death with peace and trust. There is a longing to be ‘at home’ with the Lord.

They have the hope of eternal life and the knowledge that Christ has already conquered death by dying on the cross. And rising from the dead and opening the gates of heaven for those who believe in him.

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

When we die, those who believe in Christ, those who freely choose to accept the mercy and salvation he offers, will enter heaven. The final goal of our lives is to see God face to face in heaven, to be wrapped up in his joy and love and happiness forever in the company of all the angels and saints.

The angels and saints in heaven are involved in God’s work. We ask them to pray for us and help us, because death is not a barrier but a bridge for those who love one another in Christ. And we pray for the holy souls in purgatory.

It is such a consolation to know that we are spiritually united, even now, with those who have died, and that we have the hope of seeing them again in heaven when we die ourselves.

After the services for both Owen and John this week our usual service of worship will take place in St Piran’s Church. We have an 8.30am BCP Service of Holy Communion, followed by a Service of Holy Communion at 10am (Book of Common Worship).

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Church Wardens, our organist Juliet and volunteers at St Piran’s for all of their time and energies this week. Not only will they be supporting all of our services they are also mourning the loss of much beloved friends. Please do keep them in your prayers.

Please do keep Owen, John, their families and friends in your prayers. Whatever your week holds, may it be blessed.

Yours in Christ and with love

Revd Karen

Blydhen nowydh da!

 

As I write this it is New Year’s Eve and I am rapidly turning into the old curmudgeon that I do every 365th day of the year…

As some of you already know I am not a great fan of New Year’s Eve. I have never been a night owl, I come over all maudlin by the time that the clock strikes 9pm, my knees buckle and my eyelids droop by 10pm, and Auld Lang Syne makes me weep…

 

We shall probably all be tucked up in bed in the Vicarage by the time that the clock strikes midnight. I may stir as the fireworks kick off on Lemon Quay.

New Year begins for me is the start of  Advent when we open a new copy of the lectionary and the new church year begins. I’ve never been one to stay up, party and to count down the seconds until the new year comes in.

 

Whatever you are doing for New Year may it be blessed and happy. From our home to yours, may the new year bring you good health and happiness.

 

This morning we came together from our churches for our 5th Sunday joint Holy Communion service. The new choir in Devoran was joined by congregants from St Feock and St Piran’s. Unfortunately, John Sellers (our choirmaster at Devoran) was too poorly to join us and to hear the wonderful singing of the choir. He would have been very proud of the way that the new choir sang during our service this morning. It was truly a ‘joyful noise’!

 

The new choir at Devoran is being formed by John and Barbara Sellers and they have already got off to a flying start with some wonderful singing over Christmas. It is a joy to hear the choir raising their voices in praise and it certainly lifts the congregation. I have already had comments from congregants who have commented on how loveyl it is to have a choir in church and I completely concur.

Both John and Barbara are very experienced leaders of choirs and if you would like to join the new choir please do let me know. I will pass your name on to John and Barbara.

May I take this opportunity to thank all of those who sent Chris and I Christmas cards and gave us gifts. It was very kind and generous. We now have enough Bailey’s and Gin ( my favourite tipples and guilty pleasure…) to see us through the winter months! We also had a bottle of Diana’s Sloe Gin given to us to try. I have never tried Sloe Gin before and it was a revelation!

Chris and I had a few days off together after Christmas, which was lovely. We did not do very much, if truth be told. There was much sitting on the sofa with the dogs, enjoying Christmas films. One of my favourites is ‘White Christmas’. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney sing and dance their way through a Christmas in Vermont. Of course Bing croons ‘White Christmas’ just as it begins to snow and the costumes are fabulous! The final scene is an extravaganza of snow, sparkling Christmas trees, ballerinas and romance. It is total escapism…

I confess to watching the film in my Christmas pyjamas and slippers whilst enjoying a leftover Turkey sandwich.

 

I know that the week after Christmas is a time where we often forget which day of the week that it is and when the bin men are due to come but I love ‘Twixmas’. I don’t mind forgetting which day of the week it is and I completely forgot that the recycling was due to go out. As I was still in my ‘Grinch’ pyjamas when the bin men came I wasn’t going to run up the street hauling my recycling bags with me. I just let it go… its the one time of the year that I can and I decided not to feel guilty about it.

Twixmas in our house is a time when we almost forget what a cooked meal is like as we tend to finish off the leftovers. Although I did make a turkey curry and turkey soup. I’ve always used all of the bird up and this used to be a bone of contention for my Dad. When I lived at home I used to get Dad to carve up the turkey and I used to make stock out of the carcass. Dad’s face was a picture as the smell of cooking turkey bones filled the house. He never did eat my turkey soup ( he only liked clear soups) or the curry (he wasn’t a lover of spicy foods).

I did attempt turkey burgers with the leftovers one year which he did try. I can remember Dad always using a Moulinex electric carving knife when he carved any joint of meat. He would wield the carving knife with aplomb and produce almost wafer thin slices of beautifully carved meat. I was banned from using it as Dad used to say that I carved ‘steaks’ of meat rather than slices. To this day Chris always carves as I am rather over generous with my portions!

Whatever you are doing this New Year’s Eve we both wish you a blessed and happy new year. This past year has not been an easy one for many people and I hope that 2024 is a good one for you. I will leave you with a piece of scripture and a prayer that came to mind when I was thinking about new year.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

God of all time, help us enter the New Year quietly, thoughtful of who we are to ourselves and to others,
mindful that our steps make an impact
and our words carry power.
May we walk gently.
May we speak only after we have listened well.
Creator of all life,
help us enter the New Year reverently,
aware that you have endowed
every creature and plant, every person and habitat
with beauty and purpose.
May we regard the world with tenderness.
May we honour rather than destroy.
Lover of all souls,
help us enter the New Year joyfully,
remembering our many gifts with thanks
and looking forward to blessings yet to come.
May we welcome your lavish love.
In this new year, may the grace and peace of Christ bless us now and in the days ahead. Amen

Yours in Christ and with love,

Revd Karen

‘I’m squeezing this one in…’

 

I’m squeezing this last ‘Karen’s Corner’ in before the busyness of Christmas kicks in and I run out of time.

Chris and I are taking a few days off together next week. As you can imagine, it has been a very busy time for us both and our last two holidays were interrupted by work situations.

 

Chris has been working flat out at Tesco as people get their shopping in for Christmas. I think that if he sees another mince pie or turkey he may lose the plot!

 

So here we are. Almost Christmas.
Most of us have spent the last several weeks getting ready.
Trees bought and decorated.
Gifts bought and wrapped.
Holiday parties.
Family gatherings.
Cookies left out for Santa.
Cards and letters sent far and wide.
All wonderful.

And here we are. In this place.
Together with family and friends and neighbours.
Which is as it should be.
Together we sing the familiar carols.
We light and hold our candles.
We retell that age old story.
Silent Night. Holy Night.
Wondrous star led thy light. With t

he angels let us sing.
All beautiful.

But here’s the thing.
For all our preparation and for all the beauty around us I can’t help but wonder if there is something more.

Something we miss in all of our other planning and preparation. All of our decorations and gift giving. So much of what we spend time and energy and money on seems to have little to do with that simple, provocative, age old story we read together each year.
A story so familiar we almost know it by heart.


Gentle Mary. Stoic Joseph.
Shepherds in the field abiding.
Angels from the realms of glory.


A story so layered over by tradition and Christmas card images and soften by the glow of candles that the meaning and the challenge the story presents gets lost in the pageantry of our celebration. You know the story, but maybe you miss the tension. Here it is.


Caesar Augustus. Roman Emperor. Self proclaimed Son of God on one side.
Jesus. Born in Bethlehem. Laid in a manger. Gospel proclaimed Son of God on the other side.
King Herod in his palace and on his throne in Jerusalem.
Or, Mary and Joseph making their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
The Roman legions who patrol countryside and streets to impose their peace.
Or, the heavenly hosts with their proclamation of Peace on Earth. God’s good will to all.

 

As we hear the story we are left to ask ourselves and then to decide.
What is this story really trying to say?
Which side of the story will we chose as our own to guide and direct our living?

And, because the Bible is never just about then, but also about now.
And, never just about them, but also about you and me.
And because I believe there is something more to Christmas than Santa and reindeer. I wonder…
What does all this mean for us today?
What does all this mean for you today?
With the world as it is?
With your life as it is?

If there is something in this story about God with us which rings true; which tugs at your spirit.
God with us.
Not God over us.
Not God judging us.
Not God condemning us.
God with us in this wonderful, complex, sorrowful, joyful thing we call life.
God with you and me.
God with us and them.
God here.
God now.
Just as you are.
Just as we are.
Just as they are.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all of the joy and peace of the Christmas season.

Yours in Christ

Revd Karen

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