A message from the Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 14:03

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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Hello friends!
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Spring is in the air! And being the eternal optimist that sense of Spring always fills me with an air of gladness. The dark winter months are leaving us and the warm summer months are just around the corner.
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Our seasonal variations often prompt the question which is your favourite season. I struggle to decide as each one brings something so different. I love the fresh new feel of Spring, the beautiful spring bulbs, the new buds on the trees, that lovely ‘fresh’ green on the leaves as they open up to the warmer weather. But I equally love Summer, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. When we can (hopefully) bask in the warm weather and the long sunny days. Lots of people seem more relaxed and happier in the summer. And then we have the Autumn, when the colours of the trees just bring so much vibrancy to our countryside and although the nights are beginning to draw in, we can still appreciate the warmth and sun of those odd days when summer clings on.
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It’s easy to drift away and get lost in our thoughts, isn’t it?! And then we have winter, ahh winter. The season I struggle with the most. Cold, wet, dark… need I go on.
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But, I remember having a discussion with someone who came on holiday to Britain every February because they missed the wind and rain. They lived in a hot climate which had very little variation to it. They actually missed the awful weather!
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Naturally for me, I pondered on this. And I thought, do we appreciate the spring, summer and autumn that little bit more because of the winter? Because of the variations that exist between them? In the same way, do we appreciate the happier times in life because we have had harder, more difficult times to endure?
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One of the wonderful aspects of my role is that I get to meet lots of people. And as I build relationships with many of you, I begin to discover what makes you so special. It’s the experiences of life that you have gone through. The difficult times in life, the happier times in life, those times when you have broken down in tears at the sadnesses you have had to be a part of. But it’s the steely determination that makes you often rise like a phoenix from those times that make you so much stronger than before.
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I believe we have a desire, even a need, for hope. Hope that things will get better, hope that the happier times will return, hope that the happy times will stay for a while longer even. It’s when we lose that sense of hope that our foundation can crumble.
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In 1732 a poet called Alexander Pope expressed his view that ‘Hope springs eternal, it is human nature to keep on hoping against all odds…’ It would seem that we are almost conditioned to believe better times are just around the corner.
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As a Christian, my personal faith is built upon the hope that springs from the promise that things will get better. When I see the love that exists between people, the good that lies within everyone, I sense the hope that, you know, life is good. And when those for whom life is good, get to aid those for whom life is a struggle, we bond and relationships forge together and humanity becomes that little bit stronger as a result.
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All of these feelings bring me hope. And it’s in those experiences that I sense God strongly. And when our frail, earthly bodies give up, and my faith assures me of the eternal resting place for all our souls, hope returns to me again and I smile, knowing that ultimately God always receives us.
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So as we approach this season of Spring, my prayer for us all is that we will be renewed by the sense of hope that the Christian message brings to everyone. And that the lighter, warmer days will fill your hearts and bring you peace.
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With every blessing,
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Rev’d Steve x

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