I love the sea, but live far from it. I dream of going down to the sea and sailing again. In the days of wind and sail, I think I would have been happy. I am one of those strange people who like wind and lively seas.
When taking on board our church magazine – I was told I could call it what I liked, so instead of St Giles Parish Magazine. I chose, Tides and Tidings.
Tides, because big ships sail with the tide, there is no ship bigger than ‘The Church’ ..church has often been viewed as the ‘Ark’ that’s why our wooden vaulted ceiling looks like an upside down boat. Not that St Giles is upside down, but the church is called to turn the world upside down for Jesus. We are still in Eastertide, from now until Ascension Day, (10th May) still thinking of Jesus showing himself to His friends, women as well as men, before finally saying ‘Goodbye’ and ascending to His Father and Our Father, and then (Acts 1: 4) ‘Wait for the Promise of the Father’
And then when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, the Father sent the Holy Spirit, a great wind to turn the tide in the church’s favour, filling waiting disciples with boldness to begin to reach to all corners of the earth with Tidings of salvation in Jesus’ Name.
I was reminded, in recent days, of these words, from ‘Pilgrim’ (Dom Helder Camara)
“When your ship,
“When your ship,
Being moored in harbour, gives the illusion
Of being a house;
When your ship
Begins to put down roots
In the stagnant water by the quay; put out to sea!
Save your boat’s journeying soul and your own pilgrim soul,
Cost what it may”
St Giles is in between times in more ways than one, Reverend Ian Shelton retired in January, leaving us to await the appointment of a new Incumbent, or to use ship’s talk Captain. We are in interregnum but we know we have to be ready to sail on the tide, on our new Captain’s orders … so we are still busy, welcoming passengers on board, Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals, and all our normal Services are happening on time, church is cleaned, decks swabbed, churchyard maintained, hall open for kick boxers, Theatrkidz and much more … so I guess we won’t be putting down roots as we wait…. just getting seaworthy….