The Manse of St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields
Letter for May
I thought that Spring must last forevermore;
for I was young and loved, and it was May.
Dear friends of St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields,
together with all who join us online from across the world:
May greetings and very best wishes!
I’m writing this on a beautifully sunny Spring day, a very special day, Her Majesty the Queen’s 95th Birthday, the 21st of April, as I look forward to May and all that ever-merry month brings.
Birthdays are special and make us feel extra-special, even if for a day! They give us a chance to look back and remember. HM The Queen this year inevitably will be looking back not so much to her own life but her own life with Prince Philip and all the wonderful moments they shared and treasured in a marriage of over 73 years. We have much for which to thank God as we reflect on their example of love, duty and service, especially as we think of the 99 years of Prince Philip, as we did in both congregations in Morning Worship on Sunday, the 11th of April.
I believe Her Majesty, however, would want us as a nation, while possibly glancing over our shoulders at the past, to make sure we look forward to what tomorrow brings and to hope for what lies ahead: much done, much yet to do: echoing Saint Paul’s words in the Third Chapter of his Letter to the Philippians:
What I do say is this: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what lies ahead, I press towards the finishing line, to win the heavenly prize to which God has called me in Christ Jesus.
With the easing of government restrictions concerning Church attendance as of Sunday, the 2nd of May, I am delighted to indicate that we will be able to welcome back many more people to Services of Worship. If, for whatever reason you may have been reticent to come to Church, please do feel most welcome to come back: St John’s at 9:30 am where at least 120 can be seated safely with distancing and St Leonard’s in the Fields at 11:15 am where at least 100 can be seated with those same health and safety measures in place. Live streaming and our telephone link will of course continue to operate, but I very much hope to welcome as many as might wish to attend an ‘in-person Service’. May I assure you of the highest safety measures.
I send my best wishes to you and your families and, as always, I’m available to speak by telephone or to communicate by email/letter about any matter large or small.
I look forward to in-person conversations when allowed to visit once more, even in a garden as I am now permitted so to do.
May God continue to hold you in the hollow of His hand.
To May by William Wordsworth
Though many suns have risen and set
Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
And Bards, who hailed thee, may forget
Thy gift, thy beauty scorn;
There are who to a birthday strain
Confine not harp and voice,
But evermore throughout thy reign
Are grateful and rejoice!