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Clergy Letter October 2023


On our recent visit to the island of Jura in Scotland, I chanced upon a Craft Fayre in their tiny community hall in the village of Craighouse. I met some of the ladies who were selling their work and bought a beautiful hanging of hand-painted scallop shells to remind me of our holiday. On my return, I found myself in Hodnet church visiting their Wednesday morning Craft Group. I was able to hear about some of their varied craft projects; making crochet hearts for the terminally-ill and their relatives, knitting blankets and hats for premature babies, fiddle-blankets for those with dementia …. the list is endless. I am sure many of you have seen post-boxes with their seasonal crocheted outfits or cheerful keyrings with little verses left around to brighten our days.

creativity… for the quiet army of folks who get out their knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing machines or paintbrushes and make our world more bright and beautiful. In the first chapter of Genesis, the Bible tells us we were created in God’s image….. created to be creative, like he is!

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel reluctant to offer my efforts… the dropped stitches or the simple attempts to put brush to canvas, BUT it is good to offer what we can do and allow our gifts to develop and grow. I am often challenged by Jesus’ Parable of the talents. A master went on a long journey and left his money with his servants. On his return, he went to see what they had done with it.

The wise ones had invested theirs and earnt more… but the foolish one was scared and dug a hole and buried his! Which would I be, I wonder?

When we step out in faith and use our gifts to bless others, we are often amazed by the results. Generosity is rewarded with thankfulness; joy is multiplied. This month we are hosting the famous ‘Knitted Bible’ - 36 scenes from the bible knitted by members of a small

Methodist Chapel in the northeast of England. I imagine when they started, they had no idea how God would use their gifts and time to take the good news of his love around the country to schools and churches. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said that the Kingdom of God is like a ‘mustard seed’ – though the smallest of seeds, it grows into a great tree.

I hope you can visit our churches and see the knitted bible at the end of the month…. and a warm thank you to crafters and creators everywhere for the blessing you bring! 😊

Rev Becky Richards (18/9/23)


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