Father Philip Writes...
This month's letter is slightly longer than usual and contains several different messages, including one about Christian Aid Week and a thought-provoking poem and video to conclude.
When will things return to normal? There was so much to look forward to in May: VE celebrations; the Street Fayre; Church Tours, the National Pilgrimage to Walsingham; the Crowning of the May Queen and May Fiesta celebrations. My question cannot be answered because we do not know the answer.
May is known as Mary’s month and we can learn so much from her as Jesus’ first disciple.
Mary had that faith and that is why she is a great model of discipleship for us.
The feast of Our Lord’s Ascension falls on 21st May. One of my favourite stories is that of the Angel Gabriel being surprised to see Jesus back so soon after his time on earth; after all, 33 years is not a long time. Gabriel says, “Back so soon?”
“I would have stayed longer but they crucified me.” Jesus replies.
“That means you have failed,” replies Gabriel.
“No,” says Jesus, “I have called together a group of disciples. They will carry on my work.”
“And what if they should fail?” asks Gabriel.
Jesus answered, “I have no other plan.”
Jesus commissions you and me to witness in this place. It is daunting at the moment with so many questions about the future. May we have the faith of Mary as we step into the unknown.
We may not feel we can make a huge difference, but Captain Tom Moore’s achievement is a great example of something amazing resulting from small beginnings.
Let us ask ourselves how we might respond to Jesus’ invitation to help Him transform the lives of people living in hunger and poverty.
The need is greater than ever, especially since many in poorer parts of the world do not have access to the medical facilities that we do. In previous years you have given most generously in Christian Aid Week.
However, this year we can't have our usual House-to-House collection or the churn in church. Of course you can make a donation directly to Christian Aid via their website, but it wouldn’t show as coming from Mendlesham.
So, in response to a suggestion by Christian Aid, our parish organiser, Val Arnold, has set up a special JustGiving page for Christian Aid Week from Mendlesham. The link is:
You will then see the following:
You can Gift Aid your donation if you are a taxpayer at no further expense to yourself.
A friendly warning: JustGiving ask for a donation to themselves to keep the platform going and if you are not careful you can end up automatically giving 10% more, as this is the default position. You are not obliged to do this, and can easily change the amount in the box to give another percentage or none at all.
Coronavirus reflection by Vivienne Reich
The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born...
I was not born to punish you…
I was born to awaken you…
The earth cried out for help...
Massive flooding. But you didn't listen.
Burning fires. But you didn't listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn't listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn't listen.
You still don't listen to the earth when…
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
You didn't listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
You just kept going on with your life…
No matter how much hate there was...
No matter how many killings daily…
It was more important to get that latest iPhone than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you…
But now I am here.
And I've made the world stop in its tracks.
I've made YOU finally listen.
I've made you take refuge.
I've made you stop thinking about materialistic things…
Now you are like the earth...
You are only worried about YOUR survival.
How does that feel?
I give you fever... as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues... as pollution filled the earth’s air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.
I took away your comforts…
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.
And I made the world stop...
China has better air quality.. Skies are clear blue because factories are not spewing pollution unto the earth's air.
The water in Venice is clean and Because the gondola boats that pollute the water are not being used.
YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.
Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you...
When all this is over and I am gone... Please remember these moments…
Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.
Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting amongst each other.
Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbours.
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.
Because next time I may come back even stronger....
I continue to offer Mass and pray the Offices each day at home for the needs of the congregation, the parish and the wider world, especially remembering all affected by the pandemic. Please contact me with any prayer requests or pastoral needs on 01449 766359 or through the CONTACT page.
We have have videoed some Masses offered in the Vicarage and uploaded to YouTube. you can see these on the Worship page