title="Baldons Parish Council in Oxfordshire">

From the Vicar December 2021

From Reverend Teresa Stewart-Sykes


As I write this it is a beautiful November afternoon, I am sitting in my study with the little black kitten, Buster, purring on my lap. The sun is shining through the study windows and autumn colours burnish the bushes outside in the Vicarage garden. I am thinking about the end of the world!


Not just because the Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP26, has just finished with inconclusive decisions, nor because I have the Advent readings about judgement open before me; I am thinking about the end of the world because I am trying to work out why God created it as it is? I guess it is more of a question about what are we here for? What is the point of it all?


Yes, I know, a little bit nihilistic for a Vicar’s Christmas reflections! But surely there must be more to be said about Christmas than has already been said by Dickens’ social commentary in ‘A Christmas Carol’, by Rev Clement Clark Moore’s vision of childhood in ‘Twas the night before Christmas’, or by whatever the John Lewis Partnership’s Christmas advert is this year. I ask again, what is the point of it all?


As  I gaze out of my window at the perfect stripes my husband has created on the lawn, my mind wanders to the dreamlike account of creation in the book of Genesis where these questions are addressed by the poets who wrote what we know as Genesis chapters 1-11 . These poets, rather than asking how the world came into being, actually try to account for why the world is the way it is. In these texts we hear those haunting words of God, walking in the cool of the day and asking the naked and embarrassed Adam and Eve: ‘Mortal being, where are you?’. Words which haunt us as we try to make sense of where we are in the world and, just as importantly, where are we going!


Knowing that they are transparent - ‘naked’, seen through - Adam and Eve have followed their instinct to hide, only to discover two facts of life: (a) that there is no hiding place and (b) being found need not be something to be feared but, instead, something to be prized.


And here at last is my Christmas reflection: God took on human form, being born a naked and vulnerable baby, in order to find us and everyone else who is vulnerable. God seeks us out, God finds us, and God loves us.


A blessed Christmas to you all

Rev Teresa x


The Revd Teresa Stewart-Sykes is Team vicar for The Baldons with Nuneham Courtenay, Berinsfield and Drayton St Leonard.

e-mail: RevTeresa@outlook.com      and tel: 07823 809112

The Revd Jennifer Morton is Associate Team Vicar and lives in Toot Baldon: jennifer@morton8.co.uk.

Our current curate is The Revd Sorrel Shamel-Wood who lives in Berinsfield.

Our safeguarding officer is Sara McDouall: saramcdouall@gmail.com

A clergy person can always be reached in a pastoral emergency by ringing the Dorchester Team Office 01865 340007