Rector’s News October 2020

As we move into October, I’m reminded of Keats’s poem To Autumn, which begins with ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’.  Perhaps, like me, you had to study the poem for O-level English Literature, and isn’t it strange how certain lines and phrases stick with you?

As I walk the dog along the footpaths around Crediton with the hint of autumn in the atmosphere, apples falling from the trees and the colours of the trees beginning to turn, those words come to mind. Mellow fruitfulness, slow ripening. In many ways that phrase could be used to describe the journey of faith. For some people faith is something that develops slowly, almost unseen and perhaps unrecognised, until we somehow notice that something has happened, whilst the rhythm of life goes on.

The rhythm of life indeed goes on and at the beginning of October we especially cultivate the virtue of thanksgiving as we give give thanks to God for the Harvest.  Harvest Festival gives us an opportunity to celebrate all that God provides for us: “first the grain, and then the ear and then the full seed shall appear.” This cycle of life in the natural world is one of nature’s miracles. We so easily take it for granted until floods or drought threaten our supplies; then we’re reminded that food supplies are often uncertain for many people across the world.  Although life has been rather difficult, in many ways, during these last few months it is worth remembering that in this country our food supplies have continued and that is something to give thanks for.

When thinking of Harvest, I’m often reminded of those words in the Eucharist when we declare

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour, and the majesty,
for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
All things come from you, and of your own do we give you.

In the middle of October we especially remember St Luke.  This year, his feast day (October 18th) falls on a Sunday.  Many scholars believe him to have been a physician and so St Luke is very much associated with healing and wholeness.  We shall pray for physicians and all other medical staff and also those who are involved in the Church’s  ministry of healing and wholeness.  We give thanks too for the skills and gifts of medical staff and for our NHS, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

 And finally… I know that many of us have really appreciated having ‘live’ music during our Sunday worship and so it has been really good to welcome the Choir back, albeit in small groups as current regulations allow.  Thanks to all who have used their ingenuity and time and efforts to make this happen.

Your friend and Rector

Matthew Tregenza