Pastoral Letter

April Pastoral Letter  From Revd Merriel

Very recently, whilst walking on the Downs, Clive and I came across a large tract of land looking excoriated, ugly and bare.  Oh no! we thought – what could be happening here?   Another roadway perhaps?  More underground cabling?  Fracking?  What could be destroying this precious landscape?  It did not look good and we feared the worst. 

In fact, the truth was rather different…..  Having asked a couple of ‘locals’ we discovered that this area was, in fact, an old landfill site and now in the process of being restored and regenerated.   It had been filled in, capped with chalk and was soon to be top-soiled and re-seeded.  The area which had for many years been an infertile and foul-smelling rubbish tip will, in time, become again a fertile green corridor of chalk grassland.   It will provide habitat for a huge range of specialised plants, insects and birds such as skylark, silver-spotted skipper and the rare adonis blue butterflies.  (The butterfly, incidentally, is a symbol of resurrection.)

I think this serves well as an analogy of how regeneration and re-birth occurs in individuals and communities.  The Holy Spirit comes with the power and grace to transform the deadening ‘rubbish’ in our lives into something life-giving and beautiful.  It takes time, is often painful, does not always look attractive to begin with, but is essential for growth and new life.   This is not something that happens just once, but over and over again…. all kinds of smaller ‘deaths’ and ‘resurrections’ until our final, physical, death and resurrection. 

This, then, is the message of the Easter season, which is now upon us. 

Jesus Christ has died and risen.  Death is conquered – Hallelujah!