Faith and Trust: I’ve been enjoying a biography on the life of Abraham, written by David Jackman. Abraham was getting on in years when he was first upped sticks and left the security of his home in Haran (possibly in modern Turkey). He left it all to go to the land of Canaan with his family and nephew Lot. He didn’t have an easy life nor was he perfect, yet he is known for believing that, not only did God exist, but that such a being was calling him to go on such an adventure.
As a person, Abraham is both colourful and inspiring for those about to embark on a spiritual journey. He had to search his soul and face his shortcomings. His encounters with God enlarged his understanding of who this all-knowing, all-powerful being was. This faith is something deeper than mere head-knowledge or about having feelings of something ‘other’ or spiritual.
Anthony Bagley, the new farm manager at Duchy College led the procession in a tractor on Saturday 24th June for St Sampson’s Church annual medieval barrow push and summer fete. Duchy College came to our rescue at the last minute to pull the trailer of dignitaries from Callington to South Hill.
An assortment of decorated wheel barrows, were entered and wheelie bins from SHARE Recycling for Charity project were pushed the 2 miles from Callington to South Hill preceded by our Knight carrying the St Sampson’s banner, followed up by our local dignitaries; Callington Portreeve – Pete Watson, the town crier – Tony Stentiford and local lay minister Nigel Cooper.
The winning ‘barrow’ was a wheelie bin with a real child inside! They were awarded the trophy made from the old bells headstock.
Music for a Summer evening came to St. Sampson’s, South Hill on 24th May,2023, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of a St. Sampson’s Unlocked sponsor. Over 50 people filled the church to hear Cardiff-based string players, the Aderyn Quartet – who met St Sampson sharing their ‘green room’.
After six years, the time has come to swap my churchwarden’s staff for trekking poles and attempt a long-held ambition to walk the Offa’s Dyke Path. Peter and I will be starting from Chepstow on 17th May, carrying our tent and kit, and rambling slowly along the 177 miles towards Prestatyn. We will take our time, stopping to visit places on the way, and in particular I hope to visit all twenty churches along the path. My indefatigable churchwarden colleague, Judith, has persuaded me not to forget St Sampson’s and to raise funds for the St Samson’s Unlocked Project as we go. Hopefully, she will be able to post updates of our progress whenever my phone has enough battery or signal to send them to her.
‘Inspirations’ was a very well-chosen title for a really original ‘arts evening’ at St Sampson’s on 27th April. The chief organising spirit behind it was a well-known member of our congregation, Jane Newberry, who drew together a foursome of people with varied talents and great enthusiasm for their respective forms of creative art.
Change is a fact of life and the rate of change always seems to increase. It has been said that a couple of hundred years ago you could expect one or two changes each year but today it is rare to experience as little as one or two changes every day. Change can be bewildering, annoying or even stressful. The church is not exempt from change and our local church is undergoing quite radical change at the moment along with all other churches in Cornwall.
The basic purpose of the church to serve the community and proclaim the good news of Jesus has not changed. However, the way that is put into practice may need to change to respond to changes in society as a whole and the communities the church seeks to serve. By church, I am referring to the people who are committed to following Jesus’ example rather than the building in which they meet.
There is a story about a Bishop meeting a Church Warden I heard many years ago, I’m not sure if it’s true or not but it’s a good story anyway.
The Church Warden, in conversation with a Bishop, happened to mention he had served for nearly 50 years. The Bishop responded by saying: ‘Well, I expect you have seen a lot of changes during your term of office’. ‘Yes’, was the reply, ‘and I have opposed every single one of them’.