St Peter's Church Activities September 2019

In terms of our Church Activities, we have had 3 important events of note in recent months: 1/ The first event was the well-attended lecture by Earl Spencer on Prince Rupert, a fascinating major figure in European 17th Century history. This event chalked up another success for St Peter’s PCC, with the story of Rupert of the Rhine being presented in the flawlessly fluent, highly professional and never dull manner which we have come to expect from our Patron. Whilst Rupert – a prince without a kingdom - was a heroic figure for many, especially the ladies, based on his being a dashingly handsome 6 feet two inches giant (for those times). But for all his heroic status, it is hard for Wormleighton’s parishioners to have much love for him, since it was he, as Commander of the Royalist army, who ordered the “torching” of our Manor House in 1645 leaving just one wing of that once magnificent Tudor Mansion still intact. Thereafter we became a bit of a “backwater”, But on an upbeat note for the future, it seems likely that we will be continuing with further book-signing events and thus those who already enjoyed the two literary events may be interested to note that Lord Spencer is planning another “Historical Blockbuster” which we hope will involve a further presentation and book-signing session in our church which has proven itself as being ideal for such gatherings with an audience of around 100 thanks to the buildings excellent acoustics. Lord Spencer feels very at home in Wormleighton, it seems. 2/ The second event was the very beautiful June 30th Gathering Service held at Wormleighton Grange where our host and hostess were Ian and Maja Maclellan. Being blessed by a fine Sunday morning on the last day of June we were able to hold the service outside in the sunshine firstly in the farmyard and then down by the bulrush-fringed pool adjacent to the Oxford Canal. To get there we walked through grassland untouched by herbicides and embellished by the presence of so many wild flowers. All of this gave those present a chance to contemplate the simple beauty of God’s creation. Our thanks go to Ian and Maja and to all those who organised this delightful Sunday summer’s day interlude. 3/ The third event was the Wormleighton Village Flower and Poetry Festival. This followed last year’s event and could be, I think and hope, set to become an annual presentation. The church is an ideal setting for this and we should perhaps encourage more people to compose their own verses to accompany the flowers, and maybe encourage our villagers to start to think about what to write in the dark months of Winter when the flowers are asleep. I did compose some poorly constructed verse, but flower arrangement is not my forte so I combined my verses with flowers arranged by Isabella Moore. Mention of this reminded me of the Anthology of Poems selected by General Archibald Wavell, entitled “Other Men’s Flowers” which has remained in print since being first published in 1944. “I have gathered a posy of other men's flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own.' So wrote Montaigne the French 16th Century philosopher. Flowers and poetry were meant to go together and when combined they have a unique power to please the human mind. I think we have scope here for a rather broader approach to this festival for next year. Poet of the year award perhaps? Now in my 83rd year I find that Time’s Winged Chariot that drives all our lives is gathering ever more speed and a day seems to last but for a few minutes flashing by like the Japanese countryside seen through the windows of a “Bullet Train”. By the time these notes land on your doorstep Summer will be over and we shall be into another Autumn when the final fruits are harvested before Winter’s wet and occasionally icy hand tries to throttle and squeeze the life out of the trees, bushes, hedges and plants until their defences bring the miraculous rebirth next Spring. September and October will bring pearly mornings and mushrooms. Those wild field mushrooms are so much better than the cultivated supermarket variety. Sadly though, it seems that these once common field mushrooms have succumbed to the constant & relentless advances of the annual non- stop use of the land, which was at one time “given a rest” on a rotational basis. My recent mushroom finds have mostly been, alas, those wretched “Yellow Stainers” which are so like the field variety in appearance that it is hard to tell them apart. But if you should eat a “Yellow Stainer”, your stomach will soon let you know about it, although the outcome is usually more unpleasant rather than fatal Personally, I am very fond of Parasols, which used to grow in abundance in the fields by Prescote Manor, near Cropredy. But wolves in sheep’s clothing appear everywhere in life and both mushrooms and people are often not what they seem to be. So be careful when selecting anything whether it be a mushroom or even your Churchwarden, who might also be a conman or worse. One of the latter – a Churchwarden and Baptist Minster’s son - I read today has just been found guilty of murdering an elderly academic not far from here. So, take care of yourselves and each other as you get older and more vulnerable. Let’s all work towards creating communities where people care about each other. The Kingdom of Heaven can be found here not up on Cloud Nine. Jeremy Wheeler, Churchwarden St Peter’s Wormleighton Telephone 01327 264 330 email: jwheelertranslation@gmail.com

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