From the Rectory

A Letter from Rona

 March is always the month of the daffodil in my mind:
 probably partly because of St David’s Day on the 1st,
 and partly because this is when we start to see them
 popping up. It always makes me feel hopeful when
 spring starts to arrive.

 

I’m writing this while on retreat in the convent I often come to in Cowley, Oxford. While walking around the beautifully tended children’s hospice allotments I marveled at their fruit and veg beds - all fully prepared, weed free and compost enriched. There seems to me to be a good analogy there for church life. Let me explain:

By the time you read this you will just have moved into your second year with me as your Rector. The first year has been like taking over someone else’s allotment garden. They may have grown things you don’t want to grow, they may have neglected it altogether. Whatever the history we, as a team of gardeners, have spent the year walking around the allotment, taking notes, scratching our heads, and sometimes arguing about exactly what should be planted, and whose job it is. Then we have been trying to find those with the knowledge of the exact microclimate and soil type of this particular allotment and ask them to share that information.

Now we have entered year 2 with me as Head Gardener the main job is to clear the ground. It is slow, faithful, dedicated work, and it’s not that exciting! However, we are clearing the rocks, digging out deep roots, introducing nutrients and enriching additions to the soil. We might even take a risk and plant something we think might grow, but only with the proviso that if it doesn’t, we will trust that once we’ve really done the groundwork, all sorts of treasures will flourish, and our allotment will look like the Helen House Hospice gardens once we’ve been at it a few years.

I do hope you understand the metaphor, and that you will help us by joining our team of gardeners; one head gardener and the odd volunteer will struggle with the abundance that this large allotment promises. I hope you will encourage us from the bench in the sun if you can’t bend down to dig. can’t bend down to dig. I hope that you’ll inspire us to plant, but also support us when things don’t grow and we need to return to faithful ground clearing once more.

I also hope you will keep a note about where we are in March 2019 so we can be amazed and encouraged when we move into March 2020.

with love,

Rona