Rev Chris update for 18th July

Dear all,
I was sorry to see England lose the match last week, although congratulations must go to Italy. However sad it was for our nation to lose, such sadness cannot compare with hearing of the vile and disrespectful nature of the resulting racist abuse metered out on social media – this goes to show that such platforms, whilst they can be a force for good, can also be used to air personal opinions that are less than helpful.
On a lighter note, Thursday just gone was St Swithun’s day in the church calendar. Swithun was Bishop of Winchester in the ninth century, although little is known about him. He was bishop for ten years and had asked for a ‘humble’ burial when he died. Initially this was the case, however the new bishop, Ethelwold (sadly not a name not in common use these days!), had his bones moved to a shrine in the cathedral, despite warnings that to do so would bring about terrible storms. Apparently, it rained for forty days, as forecast, hence the myth that if it rains on St Swithun’s day there will be forty days of rain.

St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days’ twill rain nae mare
(Since records began there has been no occurrence of rainfall for that prolonged period of time)

It is a shame that the issue of prolonged rainfall has detracted from the true message that surrounded St Swithun of simplicity and holiness – perhaps a more relevant message for all of us in our daily lives, including our use of social media.

On the subject of simplicity I had hoped to be able to say something more about how things will progress after Monday, with regard to restrictions, but I await further guidance from the Church of England. In the meantime, much will continue as it has done until I know more, although, however we proceed, we will do so carefully and appropriately (with simplicity and holiness).
Rev Chris