St Andrew’s Church
Christmas Tree: Grateful thanks to everyone who sponsored St Andrew’s Christmas Tree, which raised the total of £370.11. This will go to the new church organ fund. Caroline Montgomery and Julie Fitzsimmons would like to thank: Eric and Elaine Norman of Little Orton Farm for their kind donation of the tree and Paul Fitzsimmons for his help in putting it up in the Church.
We are now well into 2014 – the year when we will be remembering the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914. A huge amount has been written about this and there will be much more to come as time goes on. Not the least interesting element of this period of history is the sheer difficulty of understanding how the world became so suddenly embroiled in the abominable mess that it did and what its real roots and causes were.
Many of the most fascinating and touching pieces of history of the period can be seen just by noting in villages up and down the country (and Europe generally) the losses and sacrifices occurring in the life of rural and agricultural communities. Just read the lists of the dead of that solemn time! This is as true of Thursby as anywhere.
I have been reading a memoir of a long dead clergyman who became an archdeacon in Durham in the 1950s. He was born before the first war, in about 1899, in a village where all the boys and men became farm workers, leaving school at age 12. He writes vividly of how the war made such a difference to his tiny village as the men went off to war. As a teenager he is ploughing fields with teams of tired out horses. The fittest horses and the fit men have gone to war.
The story of how this young farm worker discovers a wider world, teaching himself in a world without formal education takes us into a vanished world of Edwardian England. What however has not vanished is the capacity of people of all ages to learn, change, grow and rise from difficult circumstances, to seize and take opportunities, to learn from adversity and to follow their deepest promptings and inspirations with faith and perseverance.
The life of Jesus reminds us that out of great loss can come great riches. May we renew this faith in God, our communities and ourselves for the future, whatever it holds for us.
With every blessing
Canon Geoffrey Ravalde