A message from the Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Posted by Admin on Monday, 27th May 2019, 16:43

Stephen Sutcliffe 230xThe Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Assistant Curate

2 St Faiths Rd

Cowes.

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Tel: 01983 652506

Email: steve.alan.sutcliffe@icloud.com

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Good day to you people of Northwood!
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As I write this piece for the newsletter my mind is turning towards a pilgrimage I will be taking part in, with some of my old college friends.
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For many the pilgrimage is all about re-tracing the steps of legendary people from our past. For me the pilgrimage is all about coming alongside people of the present, listening to how life is currently, sharing stories where we can either feel uplifted or saddened.
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We will be walking a total of 29 miles, from Sherborne Abbey to Glastonbury Tor, so plenty of time to talk and listen and of course, share.
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Sharing is, in my humble opinion, a wonderful attribute for any of us to be able to take part in. When we come together and share our lives with one another we can feel less isolated and hopefully more understood. We can feel a sense of the love that flows within all of humanity.
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‘Sharing is caring’ is something I often hear parents or grandparents say to their children in an effort to nurture their loved ones through life. It also encourages our younger members of our community to look beyond a world where they themselves are at the centre.
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You won’t be shocked to discover that I believe the love and therefore the caring that is at the heart of a sharing relationship comes from the heart of God. A sharing relationship needn’t be an intimate relationship but can simply be a relationship at the end of a phone or a letter perhaps. It can be in the form of a supportive ‘emoji’ on a Facebook post even or a supportive text message of course.
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We all know ways in which we can be supportive and help one another as we journey through life.
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In recent times I have been, once more, drawn towards situations with those who suffer with feelings of isolation and desolation and I have been profoundly moved to hear some of the stories that have accompanied individual circumstances.
I’m sure at times we have all felt isolated or misunderstood perhaps. I’ve often pondered what can we do as a society to aid each other when we feel that sense of isolation or desolation.
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As we move towards a more understanding society, certainly concerning our mental health, what learnings can we share with one another from our own experiences? How can we help each other to better appreciate our feelings when we feel isolated or desolate? As a society, I believe God is encouraging us in our understanding of mental health problems as we are now discussing this increasingly. But as they say, the more we talk about it, the more we discover.
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Certainly I find the more I meet people, the more I appreciate humanity as a whole. I see the good that lies within each of us, for the way we yearn for things to be right with the world, for the way we try our best to make a positive difference in the world. All of these attributes confirm t0 me that God is very much alive and is helping us constantly by striving to make the world a more positive place in which to live.
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As a society, I believe, the challenge is for us to continue to seek and learn from one another, to share our experiences of life and how we may have felt when we too have had moments where we have felt isolated and misunderstood. But instead of simply talking we should continue to listen and share too, so that those feelings of despair are no longer felt by individuals who feel separate to society, but are shared by all in society. That way, I believe, we may continue to grow more understanding of one another and ultimately come together as one human race.
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Through the actions of local community groups, people are reaching out enabling our community to come together. To share our gifts, talents and stories with one another, but ultimately to be in relationship with one another. Through this we may grow more comfortable with sharing our feelings with one another.
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This is certainly the desire of the many people who help to put on community events such as Coffee and Chat and the new Tea@3 venture for example. These events are taking place to enable people to come together and share their experiences of life, whether they be good or challenging.
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I hope that through these activities we may grow closer still and will eventually become able to share with a degree of sensitivity, our joys, our delights but also our fear and sadness with one another.
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My prayer for us all is that we will grow together increasingly, and that the love of God will help us to connect with each others feelings more and more. Amen.

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Rev’d Steve.

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