Outlook Issue 15 Winter 2011
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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From the Rector
From the Rector ‘Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and material in the construction or repair of buildings and other large structures. It is usually a modular system of metal pipes or tubes, although it can be from other materials. Bamboo is frequently used in some Asian countries, such as Hong Kong. The Berlin Foundry Cup depicts scaffolding in ancient Greece (early 5th century BC). The ancient Egyptians, Nubians and Chinese are also recorded as having used scaffolding-like structures to build tall buildings. The ancient Africans have also used wooden scaffoldings to support mosques.’ Wikipedia Scaffolding surrounds our Parish Church tower on three sides. Would I climb up it? No! Although I am aware that for the builders, an increasingly fabulous view emerges on the horizon as they climb higher and higher. Victorian restoration is now itself in need of repair. The severe frosts of the last three years have betrayed a weakness in the stone and cement, causing masonry to fall and underlying weaknesses to be revealed. The task of repair is daunting. The cost of repair is frightening. We need £170,000 plus to make the tower secure for another generation. We continue to supplement our savings by seeking help through grant and charity aid, and in late autumn we shall have a clearer idea of what any shortfall might be. We are frantically raising funds. Comments from many people in the community suggest that the scaffolding is seen as a tool to support the structure. I have given them the assurance that the tower is not about to fall down! But restoration can be achieved only if there is safe access for the builder and his materials. Scaffolding is a tool. Perhaps the allegory here is the scaffolding of religion which makes it possible to make faith and belief more accessible. Religion is a tool. I wonder if sometimes we take it too seriously, beautiful though its construction might be. Faith, firmly grounded, towers above our lives. Though itself a medium, it gives a sense of well being and security as we seek to find meaning in an experience of living which can be daunting and frightening. We need each other to support the tower in allegory and reality. The Reverend Canon Kevan S. McCormack