Outlook Issue 12 Winter 2010
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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From the Rector
None would live past years again, Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain; And, from the dregs of life, think to receive, What the first sprightly running could not give. John Dryden 1631-1700 At first, silhouetted against an increasingly darkening sky, then lit up against the warm blackness of the night, the Pantheon on top of the Acropolis Hill sat, like an enormous rectangular wedding cake, upon a high mountain of rock. Dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector, this wonderful wonder of the world totally captured my gaze as I stood, a few weeks ago, looking towards it at eye level some quarter of a mile from where I was standing. I just kept looking and looking, frightened to look away incase the sight was feeding my fantasy rather than reality. It was awesome. The Greeks seem to be able to blend the new with the old. Modern Athens seems only a step away from the classical culture of the pre-Christian age. Tourism hasn’t dampened the impact of the statement that this hill makes; indeed it serves only to enhance it. The ancient Greek worshipped many gods. Stories of the relationship between one god and another, and between a god and a human being painted a framework within which the intellectual search for a meaning to life could be set, and that search, of course goes on. When I gazed upon the hill I realized, with some emotion, that just by looking at it, I was identifying myself with that ancient search for meaning. As if touched by some ancient power, the longing for the answers to the questions that conflict the mind today became intense. Why me? Why now? What of yesterday? What of the future for me and those I love, and for the world I live in? I turned my back on the view and looked at the young couple, whose wedding I had just witnessed, and at whose ceremony I had been a guest. They held the key I thought, but not the answer. Their future was to be bound up with a search for an understanding of themselves through their love for each other and within a framework of a Christian ceremony which would inspire that search. I felt at ease. I searched for meaning when I was young and thought I had the answers. None would live past years again, but I respect the past. I continue to search. I know my faith gives value to it. I hope yours does too. Kevan McCormack Parish pump Sunday 10th October 2010 was a special occasion at St. Mary’s. Not only did we share our traditional harvest lunch but also said farewell to our Assistant Curate Paul Hambling. Paul has worked in the parish for three and a half years, first as a deacon and then as a priest. During this time, he has become a much loved member of St. Mary’s clergy team and is well known throughout Woodbridge. During our Harvest Festival service, many moving tributes were paid to Paul and the congregation presented him with a gift and the children gave him a delightful card which they had made. This, his last service with us, was one of his finest: a clear voice; beautiful singing; a wonderful story, told to and acted with the children, had the aisles echoing with laughter. We have watched Paul grow in confidence and stature during his time with us and we are sorry to see him go. However, his new parish in Colliers Wood, South London, has an amazing new priest to lead and inspire them and he goes with our best love and congratulations. At the lunch, further tributes were paid to Paul by the Rector, Revd. Canon Kevan McCormack, and by the Assistant Priest, Revd. Dr. John Hare. A lovely gesture from Paul was to present St. Mary’s with a gift, which the churchwardens accepted on our behalf. Mary Parker