Rector’s October Letter

Dear friends,
This month, the Season of Creation comes to an end with our services of thanksgiving for the harvest and we move on to the Season of Remembrance and the end of the Church Year. It is important, however, that we continue to express our concern for the environment in prayer and action.

The gardeners among you have been telling me that it’s been a very good year for some produce and an unexpectedly bad one for others. After a bumper crop of blackcurrants last year, I was disappointed to see the bushes bare this summer. In the world’s poorest communities, most families’ lives depend on growing crops to feed themselves and to earn an income. In order to do so they need a reliable water supply which most of them don’t have, and the changing climate is making things even more unpredictable. Our Harvest Appeal for Water Aid will help make sure that some of these families will be able to produce crops that flourish year after year, whatever the weather. In order to establish a meaningful relationship with the charity which works to provide clean water in 28 countries, from Nepal to Ethiopia, one of Water Aid’s local speakers, Anne Murray, will join us at the 10.30 service on 17th October. There will also be opportunities this month to get involved with Christian Aid in the preparations for the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow in November.

Vestry has been busy putting together an action plan for St Mary’s to ensure that concern for the environment is woven through every aspect of our life as a church. The stimulus was a request by the Diocese’s Climate Change Group to consider how we will play our part in the Scottish Episcopal Church’s quest to reduce our carbon emissions to zero by 2030. Vestry members agreed to undertake an environmental audit which was wider than that required by the diocese, looking at our care for the natural environment and for those worst affected by the Climate Crisis in addition to ways of cutting our carbon emissions. The resulting action plan covers our spiritual living (our worship, prayer and teaching), our practical living (our buildings, grounds and supplies), and our global living (how we influence and learn from the lives of one other, our local community and overseas concerns). Please take some time to read it, to prayerfully consider how you could get involved and to share any thoughts and ideas that come to you with a member of Vestry before our next meeting on 20th October. This is an ambitious plan to be implemented over a period of months and years rather than weeks. For it to succeed, it needs the prayers and involvement of each one of us.

We will also continue to pray for one another and especially those who are frail or unwell, and on Sunday 31st October, All Saints and All Souls Sunday, we will remember those we have loved and lost. As the numbers of those with Covid in the local area remain high, I will not visit you without an invitation but please get in touch on 824225 if you wish for me to come to your home with or without communion, or if you would like a chat on the phone.

With love