I’m now back in Durham – having travelled the full 250 miles admiring the snowscape that is blanketing the country! We had the beginning of term service this afternoon, which included a creative re-telling of the story of the Magi.
The three weeks back in Cheltenham has been most refreshing, and really great to be able to connect with friends. On Monday evening I enjoyed the generous hospitality of my good friends Matt & Jo. They’ve had a tough couple of years, due in no small part to the crash in the property market, and it’s been great to see how the Lord has nurtured and re-vitalised them during that time. They’ll have a great ministry in due time!
Later in the week I returned home after a trip to Gloucester, and my mother was really excited to show me something in the garden – a fieldfare! I’d placed some food in the garden which seemed to be largely ignored by the normal visitors, but this fieldfare (a member of the thrush family) spotted an apple and started guzzling it. I’d never seen one before – which shows that you don’t have to travel to see interesting species!
All of which reminds me to draw your attention to the crisis the snow is bringing to the wildlife across the country, as pointed out recently by the RSPB. I’d encourage you to be putting food out for the birds while the weather is so rough for them: grain, seed, crushed nuts and fatballs work well, as do fruit (fresh or dried), porridge oats and grated cheese.
The Anglican denomination has a whole variety of churches, from the very low to the very high; yesterday I visited one of the highest, a tin hut in the village of Woodlands in Lynesack Parish (one of the places the team from Cranmer will be going to in early March). It’s about 349m above sea level, which beats nearby Tow Law. On a more serious note, one of the things I want to do on this blog during the coming term is to reflect on the future of the Anglican church in the early 21st century. Watch this space!