From the Rectory July 2021

July is a month of mixed emotions for me. I was ordained deacon in Winchester Cathedral on 2nd July, and priested the following year at Christchurch Priory on 4th July. This July also marks the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death. For sports fans this month offers the excitement of the finals at both Wimbledon Championship and EUEFA EURO 2020.

Buckler's Hard occupies a unique place in maritime history. Originally founded as a free port for the trading of sugar, it has flourished as a shipbuilding centre, becoming famous for building warships for Nelson’s Navy, including three vessels that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar. St Mary's Chapel - No 82 on the village street - was built as a dwelling for shipyard workers, and for a short time it would serve as a school. Beaulieu River is considered to be one of the gems of the UK, and is rich in wildlife. The Yacht Harbour has recently undergone a major £2m redevelopment.

Our annual 'Sea Sunday' service will be held at the Chandlery at Buckler's Hard Yacht Haven on Sunday 11th July at 6.30pm. The service gives us the opportunity to think about, and thank God for, seafarers. Over 90% of world trade is conveyed by sea, thanks to seafarers. Theirs is a demanding lifestyle, subject to stress, isolation and loneliness, with long periods of separation from their families and loved ones; violent storms and bad weather an occupational hazard; piracy a possibility. I hope that you'll be able to join us for the service and to celebrate the role seafarers play in our daily lives. The preacher will be the Revd John Attenborough and Beaulieu band will provide the music. There will be a Collection for the work of “Mission to Seafarers”.

Following a recent one day OFSTED inspection Beaulieu School continues to be rated a good school. The staff and governors were delighted with their feedback, including the remarks about the kindness and understanding the children show to one-another. Knowing the children “inside out” is at the heart of the school's ethos. It was also noted that staff have high expectations of the children, and were ambitious for them to succeed. The school's strong links with its community and the many opportunities it    provides was also commented upon. It has been a demanding and challenging time in education during the prolonged Covid period. All the more reason to say: 'Well done and congratulations Beaulieu School!'. We send our best wishes to Katherine the   headteacher and her inspirational staff, the supportive governors, and the brilliant children.

It is with sadness that we record the death of the Revd Peter Murphy. Apart from a curacy in London, his impressive ministry was exercised in our diocese, including incumbencies at Hythe and Lyndhurst. He was a friend to many of us, and in retirement was pleased to officiate at Beaulieu; latterly, he would attend St Mary's Chapel. We shall miss Peter's wisdom, pastoral care, and humour, the latter invariably expressed in his art work and cartoons. May he rest in peace.

With my love and prayers,

Father John