A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Monday, 27th March 2017, 23:55

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com

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Hello there!

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Taking this opportunity of reaching out to hundreds of you at once I thought this would be the best way to tell you that dry rot has been found in the pews in Northwood church and as a result all pews will be removed in the next few weeks.
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Only joking!  April Fool!  Hmmm, I am sure I will get slapped by a number of you when I see you next, but I was thinking about this tradition of fooling your family and friends and wondered how many of you actually like it?  Whilst I am not a big fan of tricks I always loved my old local newspaper’s April’s Fools hoaxes that they would put out every year – one I distinctly remember from my childhood was when they reported that they would be dragging in Spit Bank Fort into Portsmouth dockyard for a maintenance period….!  Liked or hated the custom of April Fool is certainly one that is known by virtually everyone.
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The tradition goes back hundreds of years – Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written at the end of the 14th Century is alleged to have alluded to it; in 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1; the first British reference was in 1686 when John Aubrey referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day” and quite famously on April 1st 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”, so it is not a recent thing in any way shape or form.
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Hopefully most of the tricks performed on one another or hoaxes stated this year do not harm people, just slightly annoys them.  However in recent years there are sadly more sinister hoaxes or truths not believed that have caused pain and distress to many people.
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I am still shocked and saddened to know that there are thousands of people who do not believe the Holocaust occurred – in my recent trip to the Holy Land I went to a Holocaust Museum, which is by far the most traumatic museum I have ever been to and after seeing that, it is even more distressing to know that some people just don’t believe it happened.  Similarly irritating but not as distressing are the many people that do not believe that man landed on the moon….with them always citing wrong shadows or the flag waving incorrectly.
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When I was young I was completely trusting – I believed anyone older than me, especially if they were in a position of power or authority like policemen, doctors, teachers.  I never questioned or queried, I just took everything they said as the truth……and in a way, even though I know some policemen and teachers and am aware of what they can be like (!!!!) I still trust them.  And so I am horrified when I hear about cover-ups or people in key roles abusing their power or positions.
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What’s more there is now the official term of fake news – coined by President Trump, and really as a result, in the last month or so I am now not as confident as I used to be when I listen to the news or see things on the TV or the internet.  With this reduction of trust, brings uncertainty, doubt – in everyone and everything.  Suddenly we are all struggling to find something we can trust and rely on, and this is not good for the world, our nation and even our community.
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In April Christians will reach the end of Lent, a time of reflection, and celebrate the joy of Easter: when Jesus defeated death by rising from the dead. After 40 days of darkness we Christians have the light and love of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.  It is something we can hold onto.  Something concrete. Something real…….well it is for those of us who have faith! And I have to admit, in these times of uncertainty, I am really glad I have my faith.
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This month, whether you are enduring Lent or not, find something and more importantly someone you can trust….and thank them. Thank them that in their company you can be yourself, relax and not worry about slipping up or being tricked.  Play the fool at the beginning of the month, but be a solid foundation for those around you for the rest of the month and indeed year – because, by golly, we need as much honesty and trust as we can at this moment in the uncertain world we currently live in.
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Wishing you a blessed, trick-free and honest month,

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Rev’d Amanda.

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