Minister's letter

A message


from Revd. Malcolm Strange

(Rector of the Fromeside Benefice)





“Brushing through the fallen leaves together in the autumn
You and I when we were young
Planning for the future without knowing what it held for us at all” (The Strawbs)"



As a folk singer and something of an ‘ageing hippy’; certain lyrics from songs always move and leave a lasting impression on me. Songs written in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s often relied on powerful lyrics as well as the music to make their point and these poetic words were usually what truly connected with the listener. I remember as a young person heading off to Debenhams in Swindon on a Saturday morning, to spend the money earned from my paper round on the latest album that took my fancy, eager to paw over the colourful album covers that vinyl records always had, eager to know if there was a copy of the lyrics on the inner sleeve or even better in an additional booklet within.


As we move towards the depths of Autumn and the ‘Remembering Season’ I often call to mind the words of the Strawbs song ‘You and I when we were young’ (extract above). The song beautifully recalls youthful activity, from sitting in the dark in front of a brightly burning fire to watching children fishing with their nets in the local stream. The lyrics beautifully help the listener to recall and connect with these memories or similar ones, whilst also offering a sense of looking forward to the future and life’s uncertainties.


‘All Souls’ tide is a time in the church year when we bring together these very thoughts, as we remember loved ones who have died and who are no longer physically with us, but whose memory we treasurer in our hearts day by day and who through the spiritual connectedness of a shared love, still impact on our future plans, aspirations and thoughts.


For me personally, this year will have an extra poignancy as I remember my Mum who died back in April; coupled with the impact of the Pandemic on my ministry and leadership, helping people as best I can to deal with the pain and grief, that so many have had to work through and endure during this current era. Our Remembering services in the summer were powerful reminders to us all of the impacts on our lives of Covid 19 and how it has changed the thinking and lives of many.


So, whilst we are not holding a specific ‘Remembering Service’ this November, we will be allowing space in our intercessions at the midweek communions in all four Churches, from 2nd to 5th November, for you to reflect on the memory of and recall the love you shared with those who were close to you and who you see no longer. Time to fondly remember hours spent with them in the past, time to give thanks that they are now at peace in our ‘Father's Heavenly Kingdom’, time to ponder what the future holds for us all and to seek the continued prayers of all the Saints and all who are dear to us, as we journey together on a pilgrimage of real possibilities.



God Bless

Fr Malcolm