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From the Vicar Apr 2022

From Reverend Jennifer Morton


April is surely a month for optimism and hopefulness. After all, the days are steadily getting longer and mostly warmer and nature is full of new life after the shutdown of winter.  As I write winter is still very much to the fore as we watch the news and the desolation and destruction of war in a country that is still in the grip of winter weather.  My colleague Rev’d Caroline King has been reflecting further on what is a difficult time for the world around us.


‘I find it very hard to make sense of what is happening in Ukraine, and the speed at which this change has happened. Or what the future of this conflict will look like. There is a clear aggressor that’s for sure and abuse of power.  We must hope and pray for a cessation of force and preservation of life alongside peace with justice.  And for safe passage and warm welcome for those fleeing their homeland.


Legitimate power well-wielded is essential to the well-being of society. As we move out of Lent and towards Easter, perhaps we should take time in our prayers and times of quiet thought and meditation to ask what would good government, the human and political equivalent of Christ’s ultimate self-sacrificial embrace of selfless power, look like?    And what can we do to support and encourage it.  A just and peaceable society is a precious gift, let us not take it for granted.


With all this in the background perhaps it feels hard to look forward to Easter and to the promise of new life and new beginnings.  Easter Day is on 17th April and although it comes at the end of Lent and Holy Week it marks a beginning not an end.   Jesus’ resurrection is something wholly different from anything experienced before or since.  


The promise of Easter, the hope of new life the promise of transformed life is there waiting for us.   The promise of Easter is that the risen Christ still bursts through barriers of time and space and makes himself present today.  The substance of our hope is that we believe this to be the case even when (perhaps especially when) the signs of new life are not obvious. 


This new life is made manifest through the offer of safe passage and welcome to refugees, through the massive humanitarian efforts to alleviate the situation inside Ukraine, through financial giving to charities such as the DEC, and through our village collections to support with immediate practical gifts.


At Eastertide and especially when times are dark, we join with the church throughout the world in hope and expectation and say, ‘Alleluia Christ is risen’.  Easter faith enables us to glimpse the world as it is meant to be, created, redeemed and transformed by the risen Christ.  We are transforming the world because we are transformed.   Christ is risen, he is risen indeed. Alleluia.


For Christians the Resurrection of Jesus means we can be optimistic and hopeful.  Darkness has been overcome if only the world can become what it was meant to be.  Let us hope that April is a month that makes a step in that direction.


Every Blessing



Update on the path through Toot Churchyard


As those who walk and visit St Lawrence will have been aware that the path from the carpark into Church Field had become very muddy and spread onto neighbouring graves.  Therefore, the path has been temporarily closed and rerouted to allow the grass time to recover. 


In the meantime a solution to prevent future deterioration of the paths has been sought and it is therefore proposed to alternate access into the churchyard between the original path and one using an access point further along the public path leading from the carpark towards the bottom of Baldon Row.   When the work to put this in place has been completed there will be appropriate signage to point our many welcome visitors in the right direction.


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