So, we’re back into the Christmas season again, and one that might prove just a little different from recent years. As I write this article I have yet to see the 2019 John Lewis TV advert, or indeed any promise that it will arrive this year (a quick scan of their website is remarkably lacking in any information), so that may be different. But perhaps TV may not be so dominated by the retail sector this year.
It will of course have an air-time rival – the General Election called for 12 December. And I don’t think that it will be just air-time that is challenged, but perhaps the thinking capacity of many people across the nation. We have become so conditioned to think about Christmas from Halloween and Fireworks Night onwards, I suspect that having a General Election placed in its path may delay any thoughts of Christmas preparations. Perhaps John Lewis are playing a canny hand. If you’ve followed the political debate, perhaps wearily, over the past months and years then there’s no doubt that an Election offers some hope of a new form of government that might move beyond the division, wrangling and unpleasantness that we now experience at Westminster. I’m sure that those who are closely involved in political parties are convinced that success in the Election will bring a decisive break-through, but I’m not so sure.
I recognise that in all my voting life there has always been an element of favourable presentation of statistics and political spin, but it now seems to be a valued art-form, with clarity and truth hard to come by. To me, from an earthly and human perspective there are no obvious answers to the challenges this country faces, irrespective of which party wins. If you’ve ever been to a carol service you may have heard the following: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” This comes from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, who himself was writing in troubled times. He was speaking about the birth of Jesus, and how his birth will bring something new into the world. I find it intriguing that amongst the many things that Isaiah could have said about the birth of a child, he was prompted by God to speak of government and peace. Many Christians will understand exactly what Isaiah was saying. When someone accepts the gift into their lives that Jesus is, then often what happens is a gradual change from chaos to peace – a sense of earthly affairs coming under the beneficial governance of God. I think it’s a gift that’s available to individuals, organisations, counties and nations – and to neglect the gift courts problems. To paraphrase one of the Psalms – unless the Lord builds it, the builders build in vain. My closing prayer for us all at the end of 2019 is that the light of Jesus Christ may truly dawn in our lives, homes and this nation. May you have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.
Tony Stephens 01579-371496 firstname.lastname@example.org
The three words that can save your life – so ran the BBC news headline that recently caught my eye. Reading through the corresponding article I learned of a group of friends who had got lost in a forest on a dark wet night. They had no idea where they were and so, finding a spot with mobile signal, they dialled 999. On answer one of the first things they were asked to do was to download a smartphone app called “what3words”. Having downloaded the app they were able to give three words that precisely gave their location such that they were swiftly found by a search and rescue team.
Having read the article I promptly downloaded the what3words app onto my iPhone to see what it did. The developers of the app have
divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3 metres by 3
metres, with each square having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.
When you open the app on your phone you’re presented with a grid of squares
with your location identified by a blue dot in one of the squares. You can also
view the grid superimposed on a satellite picture so you can see exactly where
you are in relation to your surroundings. For instance, as I sit here at my
desk in the Rectory typing this article, my three-word
location is jumps.rationed.nearly. From the satellite picture I can see that
the whole Rectory has around 30 squares, and so if I moved to the kitchen I
could find myself at refilled.factor.fights. If I were to head over to the
Church and stand in the porch I’d be at crop.ballots.drifters.
It’s fascinating to explore the app, and not just to see the sometimes
playful combination of words that have been randomly generated (there’s a
location within the Stoke Climsland Old School that is executive.dime.agreed).
You can see just how powerful it is and why the emergency services can be keen
to see it installed on people’s phones. It is far more accurate in pinpointing
a location compared with postal codes, and hence in an emergency situation it
could literally be a life-saver.
This idea that three words can save your life got me thinking – within
the Christian faith we also have three words the can save your life, and those
same three words work wherever you are in the world. The words are “Lord Jesus
Christ”. Lord – the acknowledgement that there is a God over and above us.
Jesus – the earthly embodiment of God who shows us what God is like. Christ –
the anointed one, the Messiah, who died for all sins, was resurrected and now
waits for us to join him in heaven. For those who have come to understand the full
significance of those three words it is not only a life-saver here in our
earthly days as we see our lives transformed, but it is a life-saver for the
whole of eternity.
Anytime, anywhere, the same three words apply. Lord Jesus Christ.
At this time of year the Church has two festivals – Ascension and Pentecost. Pentecost is the better known of the two, although it is also known as Whitsun. What is now known as the Spring, or late May, Bank Holiday used to be known as Whit Monday as it was associated with Whitsun. Pentecost (Whitsun) moves around in the calendar as it occurs 50 days after Easter which is itself a moveable feast. This year Easter was late and so Whitsun is also late, with Whit Sunday falling on 9th June. Having a Bank Holiday in June would be difficult for a number of reasons and so the Spring holiday is two weeks beforehand on 27th May. So the association between this holiday and the Christian festival is lost. I wonder if already the festival of Pentecost (Whitsun) is as little known as Ascension. Whilst society in general may be less and less aware of these two Christian festivals, in the Church they are still well known – or at least Pentecost is!
At this time of year the Church has two festivals – Ascension and Pentecost. Pentecost is the better known of the two, although it is also known as Whitsun. What is now known as the Spring, or late May, Bank Holiday used to be known as Whit Monday as it was associated with Whitsun. Pentecost (Whitsun) moves around in the calendar as it occurs 50 days after Easter which is itself a moveable feast.
quirky news article headline catches my eye – “How smart car technology could
help you sleep” (Lifestyle section of The Guardian, 24 February). The article
speaks about a new development by engineers at Ford, the car-maker. They have
adapted the Lane-Keeping technology that can be found in many new cars so that
it can be incorporated into a double bed. At this point I have to add that I
did check the date of the news article, and yes it was 24 February, not 1
There has been a Christian presence in South Hill, serving this local community for over 1000 years, and St Sampson’s Church at South Hill is a special place for many people. At the community meeting in November people gave over fifty reasons why St Sampson’s is special. These included: ‘a sacred space of Christian worship’, ‘family connections’, ‘the heritage’, ‘part of our history’, ‘a peaceful haven’, ‘thriving congregation’, ‘focal point and heart of the community’, ‘another venue for community use’, ‘a beautiful place of friendship and joy’, ‘a community asset’.
church is a Grade 1 listed
medieval building. It has a wealth of
history attached to it, including being the possible site of the monastery
founded by St Sampson in the 6th century and having been Bishop
Trelawney’s first parish. There are lots
of things of historical importance both inside and outside the church, such as
the 6th century standing stone, the carved apostles on the tower,
and the font, which was part of an older church on the site. At the moment the church is open during
daylight hours for anyone to visit and it is an oasis of peace. It would be a
such a shame if it was lost to future generations.
to clear out your shed or loft?
skip it, Your junk might be someone else’s treasure and it could raise much
needed funds for St Sampson‘s Unlocked Project. Beech Auctions have kindly agreed to sell
items in aid of St Sampson’s Church.
This will all help towards making the Church, warm, dry and draught-free
with a toilet and kitchen facility. All
you have to do is take your items to Beech auctions (see their web site for
details of when http://www.beechauctions.co.uk) and tell them it
is for St Sampson’s. Or give me a ring or e mail and if it is not too big I
will collect it.
Judith Ayers – 07748773416 – email@example.com
St Sampson’s Unlocked Vintage Fete – Tombola
Are you able to donate a prize for the Tombola
required– from shampoo to champagne, preserves to prosecco. Donations gratefully received – food items
such as cans of soup, sauces, noodles, pasta, etc. also small gifts.
Please drop off any donations to:
Sue Tunnicliffe at Windmills, South Hill (leave in porch) tel: 07493 88455
Or Marilyn Tasker at Lambertswell, Golberdon tel: 01579 382849
OR inside St Sampson’s Church porch
On Sunday 12th May, two South Hill gardens, Anvil Cottage and Windmills, will again be opening their gardens for charity under the National Gardens Scheme from 1.30 to 5 pm. This year, half of the proceeds will be given to St Sampson’s church as well as to national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support.
Anvil Cottage garden is largely the
creation of Barbara Clemerson, who for many years wrote a gardening feature for
the South Hill Connection. Windmills is
mainly the work of Peter Tunnicliffe who has transformed the garden originally
created by Dave Moren.
The two gardens, which were featured
in ‘Cornwall Today’ in 2016, are adjoining, and a combined entrance fee of £5
gets you into both of them. There will
be home-made teas and, of course, plants for sale. For more details and
pictures go online to https://www.ngs.org.uk
St Sampson’s Unlocked. Cherished, Restored, Unlocked, Church
St Sampson’s Community meeting Monday 26th November 2018
A great turnout with a packed hall and apologies from another 30 people who couldn’t be there. There were representatives from; The Parish Council, SHARE, WI, Horticultural Society, St Sampson’s PCC, Golberdon girls’ choir, Hall committee, Zumba group, playgroup and from neighbouring local churches. Many thanks to Rev Annabel King who started the meeting and Simon Crosbie from the architect team and Peter Tulloch our photographer. It was a very productive evening, with lots of support shown for the project.
The meeting began with a rousing rendition of the Cornish anthem “Trelawney” and we enjoyed seeing the amazing painting of Lady Trelawney which was kindly lent to us for the evening and the image of Bishop Trelawney given with kind permission from Truro museum. The importance of these esteemed figures being that South Hill was Bishop Trelawney’s first parish when he became a parish priest. Our fabulous quilt depicting St Sampson, made by the South Hill Piece makers group was also displayed along with a wonderful banner created by the local toddler group JAMM.
The importance of community support was stressed, not just in terms of fundraising but in the community demonstrating that they wanted the St Sampson Unlocked project to go ahead. Continue reading