More Chaplain’s Ramblings

A further lock-down has now started, certainly for those of us in England. This will affect some members who might just have been plucking up courage to go out a bit more, even if only to eat in a local pub! Fiona and I are definitely in that category; but the need to be vigilant has all been emphasised by HMG with a further circular to “extremely clinically vulnerable” patients. Hopefully not too many of you are in that boat, but I know that some of you are.
So, it’s more time at home, but no longer in April sunshine, rather in November mist and maybe autumn colours on a bright morning. At least one can still go out for exercise and we are blessed here in Sussex with lots of walks on our doorstep. In this morning’s sunshine I wandered into local woods – it was a brilliant day.

The sheep were certainly safely grazing here – one of them came up and licked my legs and the walking pole!

Safely grazing sheep
Safely grazing sheep

Below, in the distance is Gravetye Manor – a really lovely Jacobean country hotel, but you need deep pockets! We sometimes walk there for coffee and that gives entry to their wonderful garden which was originally laid out by William Robinson, a previous owner.

A vista of Gravetye Manor
An autumn vista of Gravetye Manor

We are just so lucky to have all this on our doorstep! But long shadows even at mid-day! For all of you who feel ‘locked down’, here is a prayer written by the Dean of Southwark:-

A prayer for the Second Lockdown
Lord Jesus, who entered the locked room
and made yourself known to your friends;
be with us in this lockdown
that we may be aware of your presence
and know your blessing upon us. Amen.

In the words of our Livery Bishop, the Bishop of London: “Let us in these coming days and weeks continue, in the heart of the storm, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who says, ‘Take heart, it is I; be not afraid.’”

A final thought from a feline perspective!
A final thought from a feline perspective!

In days of lockdown, I’m still free,
I come and go just as I please.
It’s quiet outside, so I explore
And find new places more and more.
Oh, what it is to be like this,
A life of rest, and peace, and bliss!

My very best wishes to you all,
Keep well and stay safe!

Revd. Peter Hartley,
Hon. Chaplain.
6th November, 2020