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Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

Revd Bob's September Newsletter

It was very encouraging to see so many villagers and not just our regular church congregation at the celebration Garden Party at Great Casterton on Saturday. Fortunately the weather stayed fine and mild and we even had a glimpse of the sunshine. A big 'thank you' to all who made this day possible and to all who came along, this feels as though it could become a regular annual event.

In other ways it's been a difficult month for the farmers getting the harvest in with so much heavy rain and little time in between for the crops to dry. It is timely to remember how grateful we are for the hard work of our local farmers in each of our villages and the long family traditions that many of them maintain. When most of us are taking a break this is a busy and often stressful time so our thoughts and thanks are with them. It reminds us that our Harvest festivals traditionally represented a time of celebration and some brief respite after the hard work of gathering the harvest in.

The 'Working Weekend', an annual event in Little Casterton, will also be with us again over the weekend of 16/17 September. This is well worth a visit and we are very grateful to Rosemary and Arthur Hinch, and their helpers, for the many years that they have been organising this. It is a terrific event that is known nationally as well as locally and not only provides a good spectacle but also provides funds for Little Casterton Church and local charities.

I am writing this while on holiday in Herefordshire, on the farm we regularly visit through the year. The tradition here is that the harvest represents the end of the farmers' year and a new year begins planning for the winter and the year beyond. So this also represents the time for a new start and I am sure that the summer holidays will have given us all the opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to the future with new motivation and energy.

Each of our circumstances is different but taking time out is a strong part of our Christian tradition. Every week was characterised through the Jewish tradition with the 'Sabbath' a day at the end of each week to rest, free from work, to remember that God also rested on the seventh day after his busy week of creation. The pattern through Christianity of setting Sunday aside also reflected this need to rest and also to take time out to worship God. In addition, holidays were originally 'Holy Days' set aside from the normal routines to remember a special event in the church calendar and to refocus the pattern of life.

I guess that a lot of us have been reflecting and 'refocussing' through the holiday break sifting through our experience of the past year and perhaps wondering how we might rebalance our priorities and reflect on those things in life that bring real meaning and value to our lives and the lives of those close to us. Whether we have a faith or not this is always a useful exercise, but if we want things to change then we will have to do something about it; take some action. It can be fine speculating when lying on the beach but when we return home we realise that if we do nothing different, nothing will change.

That applies to all of us, but for those of us with faith we believe that through prayer, we are best able to discern of the best way forward and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will be given the eyes to see the opportunities that God lays before us to take us into a new and better place.

Of course change is part of the regular pattern of life that we have to deal with and change can be forced on us in ways we might not imagine, both good and bad, through an unexpected turn of events. In such circumstances we are forced to adapt to meet new challenges; here too I have found that prayer, especially the prayer of others when I have been in a dark place, can bring great comfort and consolation. Whatever your circumstances I wish you every blessing as you seek the best way forward for yourselves and those you love.

Rev Bob