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A Message from Fr Paul Seaman (August)

Dear Friends,

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare’

These words are from a poem by William Henry Davies entitled ‘Leisure’. An apt poem for this month of August which is, for many people, a time to focus on leisure activities. Many of us will have an opportunity to get away and seek refreshment and relaxation away from home. The current problems at the Port of Dover and in some of our airports remind us of the numbers of people who travel at this time of the year.

However, I am always conscious of those who long to get away but can’t, because of health issues, family responsibilities and now, even more than before, economic hardship. Many of these individuals are desperate to have time out, away from the normal routine and environment. A platitude that is often quoted is that a change is as good as a rest! While this can be true, surely having time to rest is vital for all of us, in terms of our general well-being, if we are to function effectively in the months ahead.

Christians speak of the need to spend time with God in silence or contemplation, carving out time to stop and listen, to reflect and observe. I believe this is something we can all do, whether we are people of faith or not, whether we are away from home or in our usual environment. We can tend to stop seeing things, as we rush from one thing to another; to stop seeing those things right in front of our eyes, whether literally or in the mind’s eye!

This August I invite you to stop somewhere and stare at what is in front of you. If you are at home or in the garden, to look more closely at what is around you, what it means to you, reminds you of and why you value it, (if you do?) Later on in life you do start to regret not appreciating what you have had and been a part of , in those most familiar and routine of things. Today stop and soak it all in, rejoice in all that is good around you and be thankful that you have ‘stood’ and stared.
The poem  by Davies concludes:

‘A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.’

May God bless you all in these summer days.


With my prayers and best wishes,
Fr Paul Seaman (Rector of Pulborough)


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