Milverton, Somerset

From the Vicarage in February

What do we think of in February? Well, retail outlets and advertisers would suggest Valentine’s Day, a day to express your love to a chosen one, sometimes with an element of surprise and
mystery. Seasonally, this tends to be an uneventful month, not quite Spring but the days are getting longer. In our church calendar we mark the transition from Christmas towards our preparations for Lent and Easter.

What are we thinking of in February 2022? Almost 2 years since that first lockdown, trying to rebuild ourselves and each other, physically and emotionally. Judging by most of the conversations I have recently shared, a lot of us are “struggling a bit” at the moment. We see changes in ourselves we are uncomfortable with; our weight, our lack of enthusiasm for smart, structured clothing, our awareness that we should do something, but maybe not yet! We see in friends and family members changes that concern us; emotional outbursts, frailty, altered perspectives on life.

There is no magic way to cope with these changes, but we can all do our bit…instead of hoping someone else will “sort things out”, I suggest February 2022 is when we greet each other, ask how they really are and let them tell you! None of us can solve each other’s problems but we can listen, knowing that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, we can give them our time and a bit of space to unpack their feelings.

For those who need some quiet space ‘Time out on Tuesdays’ 6pm to 7.30pm continues at St Michael’s Church, heating on, gentle music playing, space just to be yourself, some privacy, activities that might help you process your thoughts where anyone and everyone is welcome.
For your diaries…., as we reflect on the second anniversary of this Pandemic…’Threads of Survival’ is coming to St. Michael’s Church, from the end of March for 2 weeks….an exhibition of quilts made during the lockdown period by groups and individuals across the country reflecting on life during the pandemic and the role of the NHS. These are stunning and thought provoking, whether you are a craftsperson, a supporter of our keyworkers, admirers of Art and design or just intrigued…you are all welcome.

Our communities are beginning to plan for the 4 day Platinum Jubilee celebrations and to start things off St Michael’s Church, Milverton are offering a Special service to mark Queen Elizabeth’s accession 70 years ago on 6 February. This will be a sung service with “In Ecclesia” at 4pm, the retiring collection will be for In Ecclesia as they bring musical opportunities to many of our tiny rural churches without charge. All are welcome to join us for the first of many celebrations to mark our Queen’s special year and her long reign.

February 2022, show the love, listen to each other and be kind!

My prayers and blessings for each and everyone of you.