Vicar's Letter July 2017
There have been many occasions recently when, sitting in my study, I have watched the homing pigeons circling round and round above the Hopsfield gardens in Milborne.
I wonder why they do this? To get a ‘bird’s eye view of the area and to map it out? Or maybe to ride the thermals? Perhaps someone can tell me?
The pigeons have helped me to reflect on journeys through life which sometimes, and you may or may not agree, appear to go round in circles. In July last year my husband Tony and I, with the help of our son and daughter, returned to our bungalow in Milborne, having spent nearly four years back in Tony’s home village in Yorkshire. This was my third move here and my fourth to Dorset, having first arrived in Milborne with my parents in 1979. In fact, I have been circling from Yorkshire to Dorset for each new phase in life for over forty years!
It would also seem that, whatever our beliefs, we need to return to significant places sometimes to give thanks for special events that have happened there, to seek healing of the past, to bring closure, or to complete a circle. Although we as a family were given new and fulfilling tasks in Yorkshire in 2012, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, for myself and my husband it was only for a time. Sadly, two or three lifelong friends died while we were there. Their passing and Tony’s illness brought closure; and we sensed that it was time to retire home to Dorset. Our son and daughter however, were just beginning their own independent journeys in life and they remained in Yorkshire.
Christians believe that we are called by God to embark on life’s short or lengthy journeys. It sometimes involves taking a leap of faith as we set out; but that faith can be rewarded as God reveals his purpose for us in the place or places that He calls us to. We are also called, wherever we are placed and whatever is happening around us socially and politically, to build strong and loving relationships within our churches, with our neighbours, and with the refugees and immigrants amongst us (cf the bishop’s letter in last month’s magazine).
It was good to return to Yorkshire and to discover God’s purposes for us there, but it is also good to return home to beautiful Dorset and to be able to serve as an ‘active retired’ priest in this benefice. We are discovering how many people are involved in building and in maintaining friendships and strong communities. Perhaps this is a good time for us all to remember and give thanks for past blessings, and then to move on together into the future as we, like the pigeons, continue each circle or journey. May God bless you all on your particular journeys.
Revd. Rosie Coldwell.