A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 26th May 2018, 15:07

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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Last month I travelled up to my old Theological college in Oxford to spend some time with Steve Sutcliffe, who will be ordained as a Deacon at the end of this month and then become our Curate – you will hear from him in the near future!
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As I travelled up the A34 I noticed that there had been some changes in the road network since I was last up here 9 years ago, but more importantly than that, I was excited and a little nervous, understandable I think when you are going back to a training establishment! Hmmm, excitement – this was completely different to what my normal feeling was as I travelled up to Cuddesdon: Sunday evenings were always slightly depressing as I left James to go back for another week of serious swotting at college.
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But then my mood is not the only thing that has changed significantly in the 11 years since I first went to Cuddesdon: Now I am a wife and a Mum. I am now an ‘established’ Vicar of 2 parishes (I am not sure all my lecturers thought that would happen!) and of course I am living here on the Island.  The college has also changed a great deal – a new, award-winning chapel has been built, an order of Nuns has joined the community and there have been additional accommodation and conference rooms built…. but whether it was the college room and bar, the lovely dining room with its grand pictures or just the glorious gardens, there was enough familiarity around the college for me to quickly feel at home and remember the wonderful times I had there.
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I like reminiscing – yes admittedly it is often with rose tinted glasses, but it does show you how far you have travelled in your life: perhaps leaving paths you thought you would be on forever, doing things you never thought you would do or meeting people you never thought you would!  None of us know where our journey of life will take us, and I think only a few of us have taken the path we thought we would take.
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Recently I did an assembly at a local school about journeys and told the 350+ children how we are all on a journey every day of our lives and more importantly how we all need to make sure we take every opportunity that is offered to us as we journey along.  Because, how many of us have a regret or have said ‘if only I had done that when I was given the chance’?  We do not know where each ‘open door’ will take us….and thus what we will miss if we don’t take up the opportunity.
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And however young or old, able or not able we may be, we still have opportunities to do something different, to go through a new door of opportunity…. all that is probably stopping you is yourself.  At this point of writing I googled ‘Quotes about opportunity’, and subsequently lost half an hour of my life – there are so many good ones, I have restricted myself to tell you just these three:
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‘In the end we only REGRET the chances we didn’t take’
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‘Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss’ (F Scott Fitzgerald)
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‘Be open to and welcoming of unforeseen events because these unplanned moments are often the seeds of spectacular opportunities in your life’
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This last one really resonated with me…. how often have we moaned about something changing our plans, when actually if we embraced that change it could be the greatest experience of your life!  And I say this, having just said yes to two surprise invitations to take on additional responsibilities whilst I am here in the parish…. I have no idea where they will take me, but I am looking forward to the ride!
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Does that mean I am not worried or nervous about them? Of course not, but the best opportunities always involve a bit of fear and risk don’t they!?!  I will tell you next year whether I was a crazy fool or whether they were two brilliant opportunities that I took….
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So, what about you? What could you say ‘yes’ to in the next month or so? Has there been that thing you have always wanted to try but never got around to doing it, have you been meaning to invite that lovely person you see every day on the bus for a cuppa in a tea shop but never been brave enough? This month, do as I have done recently and try and say yes to every offer you are given, even if it is a bit scary, and then enjoy the adventure you would have never gone on had you said no!
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Wishing you a fun-filled and adventurous journey of opportunities!

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Rev’d Amanda

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