A Sparrow’s view of a wonderful day.

Sunday 13th September, 2015
St Giles Church Rowley Regis

The distinguished guests have moved on.

The organ is silent, the trumpet and singers, the happy crowd has moved on to lay down in memory the record of a grand occasion. A Civic Service with The Worshipful Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Barbara Price, who looked radiant, and in this her year of Office will, we are sure fulfil every engagement and duty perfectly.

Since her election as councillor in June 2004, Councillor Price has served the people of Rowley well, the restored War Memorial, outside in the Churchyard owes much to her thoughtful care, and determination that the names of the Village fallen in WW1 should shine out once more.

And, now the Parish Church of St Giles, welcomed her as Mayor of the Borough, the Rowley Regis Mace preceded her with due ceremonial, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Mr Stewart Towe C.B.E. representing the Queen, the High Sheriff, visiting Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chief Executive of SMBC, Aldermen, Councillors, consorts, British Legion Standard Bearers, 1st Rowley Scouts all present and standing to mark and witness Barbara’s Act of Dedication.

Now, a sparrow had no camera at hand to record history in the making, and a sparrow’s song could not compare with Misericordias Domini in aeternum the splendid, happy Anthem sung by St Giles Singers, but a sparrow hiding in her nest was very happy, to be there and secretly to play her part, watching as the new Mayor was presented with a bouquet by a young person representing St Michael’s School, a sparrow. silently offered up a prayer, that Rowley’s new Mayor, and all present may be blessed.

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Now church is empty, just me, a church sparrow sitting in my nest reflecting on the events of a wonderful day. A church you know, is never empty, and the silence it knows is awesome. It is the silence of eternity, and in eternity an angel choir is singing.

“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever”

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As Time Goes By

The Clock engineers called yesterday to give Rowley’s Church Clock its annual service. The Tower steps are extremely steep, so I only went part way up, this time, Behind the clock face, is a quite different view to the one which passers by get, and that is a perspective on all our experiences of time, I suppose. We view things differently according to where we are in the present moment.

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The Church Clock, St Giles, Rowley RegisSt Giles Church

We see yesterdays and yesteryear differently according to where we are now in our present, and both past and present events colour our view of the future, which as yet remains unknown (although we like to schedule events in our diary). For instance without the foresight of booking in an appointment how else would the clock men have been able to do their job yesterday? Somethings we can plan for, others we can’t.

The Church Clock was built in 1858 for Rowley’s 2nd Church Building, was safely removed when that building was taken down, reinstalled in the 3rd building which was destroyed by fire in 1913, so it’s a survivor. It’s makers J. B. Joyce and Co. Of Derby, are still around today, their engineers serviced it yesterday.

The last visit by one of them had been in 2008. The church clock stopped ticking that year, and every passer by whether on foot or in a car noticed and many were the telephone calls. The problem, was a worn and broken part to the pendulum, recasting a new one was expensive and beyond the church’s budget at that time. An appeal was launched and the response to it totally beyond our expectations. Gifts came from far beyond our doorstep and lovely little letters from families now far removed from their Rowley Roots. Every year now, J.B.Joyce call to book in a time to call, and give Rowley’s Clock a check up. There is only one other clock movement like it in the U.K. and that keeps good time too. Our big brother is Big Ben in London.

“It’s good for another 100 years” was the expert verdict yesterday.

I can’t imagine what changes the next 100 years will bring, but do recall, Mr Bird, a much loved member of our church family, repeatedly reminding his Sunday School Class,

It is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12 N.I.V.)

A reminder that our human faithfulness or faithlessness will in time be rewarded. The church clock may indeed be good for another hundred years, but the goodness and love of God are eternal.

As we say in Rowley, “You can set your clock by him”