From the Rectory....
At school we delighted in singing the round, “Sumer is icumen in: Lhude sing cuccu”. Probably mid-thirteenth century, it is one of the earliest pieces of music to integrate both secular and religious words. Summer is here, and as I write, children, teachers and parents are looking forward to the holidays. At Beaulieu School, the children of Years 5 and 6 are rehearsing for their summer presentation, “Pirates of the Curry Bean”, a comical take on the fantasy Caribbean characters.
University results have been published, and graduation ceremonies are taking place. Some of you have shared news of how family members have fared. Among the successes is Fr Michael's grandson, Ben, who achieved a 1st class degree from Aberystwyth University. Congratulations to him and to his sister Sian, whose exam result in catering has been rewarded with a permanent post at a London hotel. At the end of the summer, Isabel Brearley takes up a post as Graduate Music Assistant at King's School Bruton, in Somerset. A professional musician, Tiggy has delighted us with her beautiful oboe playing, both in our Sunday worship and in Recitals. She will be returning to Beaulieu as her commitments permit, and continue to be involved in our motet group “Chorale”. We wish her well.
Like July, August is a month of recreation – or re-creation; the pace of life relaxes. How we choose to spend our times of recreation is down to personal choice and preference. Jesus merely sought a few hours of rest and solitude for his disciples, but for others much longer periods are a must. Importantly, 're-creation' is only effective if the end result enables us to be refreshed, renewed, and ready to face new challenges and goals. Restoration, through a short change of scene, a period of alternative physical or mental activity, or a much longer period overseas, is essential to refresh our jaded minds and bodies. The pattern of our church services continues even during holiday months, and whether we are on holiday or not, it is a reminder that the discipline and joy of corporate worship is the context for our life as Christians. Our faithful attendance at these services is simply a reflection of God's eternal faithfulness towards us.
Having finished their initial training and achieved safeguarding certificates, our benefice visitors are beginning their ministry. They do so with my authority, and will be carrying photo and card identification. If you would appreciate a visit, or know someone who would, please let me have their name and contact details.
At 6.30pm on Sunday 13th August we are holding a “Songs of Praise” in the Abbey ruins. It will be led by Hugh Ashley who was for 20 years presenter/producer at BBC Radio Solent. Many of us remember his popular programme, “Ancient and Modern”. Hugh has conducted about 1200 hymn singing events across the south of England and in West Wales in the last 35 years. I look forward to seeing you there. The Abbey Choir will lead the singing, and Beaulieu Band will be providing musical accompaniment. (If the weather is not conducive, we shall be in the church.)
With the love and prayers of your parish priest. Father John
O God our Father, we thank you for the times of rest from the normal daily round. We pray that those who are on holiday at this time may be enabled to find the threefold recreation of body, mind and spirit that will strengthen them for your service in the days that lie ahead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (B.Woolf)