Thoughts and PRayers
Here you'll find the latest letter from The Rev. Canon Martin Lane and our archive of digital worship.
October 2023 Update
Canon Martin Lane, Vicar of Bosham writes:
As our curate Maria reminded us of last month, it is the season when we give thanks for the Harvest. I join her in commending the collection for the local food bank. It is of course a catastrophe that as a society we need them at all! As I write an earthquake has just hit Morocco and there has been a volcanic eruption in Hawaii, as if a hurricane was not enough for those poor people to cope with in that remote region. Nearer to home, we do not need to be reminded that climate change, as the scientists have been telling us, is very much upon us.
I recently had a conversation with a Christian in California who was making it her job to get people together to talk about the “existential threat to humanity” that we all face because of “man-made climate change.” She expressed frustration that there was not more political will to face up to this challenge and to use the knowledge that we have to quell its effects. Sadly, I could not, with any real confidence, say that things were better here in the U.K.
One of the few good things about challenging times is that we can be reminded of important truths. These are not the best of times for us as a society or as a church, but I think that one thing we cannot or should not ignore is the way in which our own actions impact upon other people and indeed the world in which we live.
We tend as a society nowadays to prize individual freedom over the common good. Suspicion trumps trust and integrity in the political sphere has been deeply damaged in recent times. If we dare to remind people of their social responsibility this can sometimes result in an angry and rude response; increasingly people live for themselves and not each other. The individual comes first and is centre of ‘my world’.
As Christians we must never forget that for us, as God’s people, we are responsible not only for ourselves but also for others, in so far as our actions have consequences. We must seek then to live for each other. We are stewards of the created world, on which we all depend, we cannot ignore our responsibility and interdependence and we have been warned by the scientific community that we do so at our peril.
A consumer society encourages us to think in terms of what we can procure for ourselves, rather than recognising that all that we have is a gift from God. I hope that as a church community we will do all that we can to continue to support the poorest in our society and community, but also to speak out for justice and truth, to challenge the political inertia, that puts profit and short-term planning before people and the longer term good.
So, it is right to give thanks to God for all that we have, it is also timely for us to consider what more we can, or might be able to give, in terms of time, talent and money, to respond to the challenges that we face together. In all these things we are not without hope.
In the words of that harvest hymn:
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see: All I have needed Thy hand hath provided— Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
As God is generous with us, so let us be so with one another.
Be assured of my continued prayers and blessings,
Holy Trinity Church