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September 2020

This month’s letter comes from Revd Victoria Chester:

Where have the last 12 months gone?  Even though so much of the spring and summer has been spent indoors or no further than the garden gate, both seasons seem to have raced by; how can it already be September?!  Although, as someone said, time proceeds at the rate of one second per second most of us have a sense of it speeding up or slowing down at different times in our lives, even at different times of the day.  The slowing down seems to happen when we wait for something, looked for or dreaded, or are held awake in the small hours of the night; while the speeding up seems to take place when we’re in the midst of ‘living’ – special family events, holidays, even sleep can seem to whisk by when the alarm goes off before we’re ready to get up.

I can hardly believe it is almost a year since I was ordained deacon in Exeter Cathedral.  That day was so full of family, friends, music, joy in a great coming together in thanks for all that had been and all that was to come.  Looking back now that day seems to belong to another time, we didn’t have to wear masks, we could embrace and greet each other and sing our socks off!  Just 12 months on I look forward to being ordained priest in the Cathedral on the 26th of September with just 5 tickets to offer friends and family, no singing, masks and hand-wash replacing embracing; and yet I feel there is still so much to give thanks for, and hope for all that is to come.

Thanks most especially for the support, patience and generosity of our communities, colleagues, and congregations as I have learned new ministries in taking baptisms and funerals, and the privilege of sharing these life moments with people.  Thanks too for being part of new ways of worship, creating new links, new friendships within and beyond our communities in our Telephone and online services.  And hope, that in another year we can be together outside our bubbles, sing together, have time to lament and look forward together. 

Time can seem to pass very slowly waiting for life to ‘return to normal’ though, and I was also recently struck by these words from the American poet Maya Angelou, “since time is the one immaterial object we cannot influence, neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish, it is an imponderably valuable gift.” 

So that is perhaps another hope for the year to come; that however time seems to pass, in our waiting, our living and our hoping, we can welcome whatever it brings as a gift.

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