WELCOME BACK !
The summer is over and Autumn has begun. I think Autumn is my favorite season, crisp, damp and occasionally chilly mornings are a great start to the day and a great opportunity to thank God for his goodness. The parish has emerged from its Summer hibernation and there is much work to do.
Susan Marshall will be keeping you up to date with Development Project plans and actions. We hope to have the lighting installed by the end of September. Faculties are being sought for the work on the organ and new church facilities, there are lots of new ideas for fundraising over the next few months including a sponsored walk from St Paul’s Cathedral to St Nicholas on Saturday 7 November, our Harvest Fair on Saturday 10 October and an auction of goods and promises on Friday 4 December.
One of our project aims was to increase the visibility and profile of our church community in the local area. To this end we have been invited to the Fuller’s Family Fun Day on Saturday 5th September: 11am – 4pm. Fr Andrew and I need your help to hand out leaflets, lollipops and parish information. Please can we have some volunteers, so far last Sundays appeal resulted in two people volunteering – WE NEED MORE HELP. Please come along even if its only for 15 minutes. We have also been invited toChiswick House Dog Show on Sunday 27th September 11am – 4pm. I will be walking over after mass, with my dogs and again we need help to hand out parish information leaflets and dog biscuits! Here we have two occasions when we can really raise the profile of St Nicholas in the local area, I hope we can take full advantage of these generous invitations.
This time of year gives a sense of back to work and school; a time for many of new beginnings and change. New schools or universities perhaps. Change can sometimes be hard to deal with, but change is a key part not just of our working or educational lives but also of our church lives. We must always be seeing what we may be able to do a little better or what new things we might try as a church, to give those in and around our parish a glimpse – perhaps even the tiniest of glimpses – of the Kingdom of God. Standing still rarely produces anything worthwhile…..
Oliver Sachs, the great Professor of Neurology and award-winning author died last week aged 82. He was someone whose writing spoke very loudly to me over the years. He had an ability to beautifully articulate his take on the world and he saw his patients as individuals not as walking diseases. I would like to close by sharing some of his own thoughts as he grappled with the news that his cancer was terminal. There is much we can learn from him…..
“I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and travelled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure”
Oliver Sachs 1933 -2015, RIP