Welcome to St Mary the Virgin, Widdington
As I write this piece for the village magazine I am looking out upon some blue sky with white clouds dotted about.  I’d say it was quite mild or warm, but I actually haven’t been out yet today as I have been working mainly in my office.  Yesterday was rather warm and after conducting a baptism in Widdington I joined the family celebration sitting outside at Debden Barns.  It was beautiful and a nice pleasant summer evening.  In fact it is what summer should be like.

Oh then, to look back upon the days of rain that we have had recently.  Not just rain, but thunder & lightning and more rain being chucked down than we should ever have one day.  We are still fortunate enough not to have been hurt more than other parts of the country, but the rain can still affect us.  Cathie Southcott sent me a picture of myself recently where I am standing in the porch of St Mary’s church with the rain falling down outside.  It was the day of Joshua & Hannah’s wedding, and I do not look very happy.  I have to say that the rain, thunder & lightning did not ruin the service and a great day was had by all; it even brightened up enough for photographs outside the church once the service was finished.

It seems that these days we tend not to have our four traditional seasons: summer, autumn, winter & spring.  It seems that after a beautiful summer’s day so our weather can become more autumnal, and in the beginning of spring we can still get very cold weather with sleet or snow.  This year I remember having to put the heating back on because we suddenly had a very cold snap of weather.  That followed a winter without much snow and some very mild or warm days indeed.  Our seasons may indeed be a thing of the past.

One place that still has seasons is the church, and as we move into September we shall be getting ready to celebrate our Harvest Festival on Sunday 1st October.  Our service may not exactly be in line with harvests that take place around us, but it is still good for us to gather together to give thanks to God for what he had provided us with.  It is also one of the times we gather to pass on the bounty of a good harvest to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  So we shall be doing our collection of tinned & dried goods to take up to Jimmy’s Night Shelter in Cambridge, and our cash offering will be donated as well. 

In November we’ll also be gathering to provide for others in our annual Shoebox Service on Sunday 5th November.  This is where we pack shoeboxes to be sent off to children as part of Operation Christmas Child.  It is great to actually pack a box with a toy, some sweets, maybe some socks and lots of other good things.  I’ve seen a video of children opening their boxes and it is truly heart-warming to see the expression on their faces.  Why not come along to either or both of these two services.  Bring some bits & pieces for Jimmys, or come and help pack a shoebox.  Both services are fun, and you’ll be helping people by joining in. 

As our weather becomes more grey, more wet & more autumnal, let’s bring a ray of sunshine to those who are not as fortunate as ourselves.  You’ll be glad you did.