The summer months always seem to bring some disturbance to our regular patterns of Church and worship. No choir or evensong at St. Eustachius’, but instead the opportunity to make the climb at Brent Tor up to our unique church of St Michael de Rupe. Built on an extinct volcanic cone, and surrounded by an iron-age hill fort, it is well worth the climb for a 360 view over the moors and countryside, and then for the atmosphere and worship so high and close to heaven! Fortunately, as yet, I have not been forced, as were some previous pastors, to “humble himself upon all fours, preparatory to being exalted to the pulpit”. Please come and join us before the end of September at a service where even six dogs have been known to listen obediently!
As most of you will have heard, our vacancy continues at St. Eustachius’. We do ask for your prayers that, when re-advertised in September, the person of God’s calling will respond and be appointed. In the mean time we continue to be most thankful for all the support we are receiving from local retired and serving clergy.
I also hope that you are all aware that on September 27th at 5pm our new Bishop Robert of Exeter will be holding an ordination service at St. Eustachius’ when Elizabeth Burke, Andy Barton and myself will be ordained as Priests. We would welcome your prayers for this very special occasion, and invite any who can to come and support us in this exciting and important step forward in our ministries.
There seems to be very much change and disturbance going on around us in the world at present, and we have much to give thanks for as we are so blessed where we live in this beautiful part of God’s creation to be spared from such things. In one of our readings this month (Matt 10v1-25) Jesus prepares his disciples for times of persecution ahead. Many of us may have hoped that with the fall of the iron curtain in 1989, where in eastern Europe there had been much sacrifice in being a true believer and follower in our Lord, all this had ended. But now we have the terrible situation faced by our brothers and sisters not just in Syria and Iraq (where there has been a strong Christian presence since early church times and which is now rapidly being eradicated), we have persecutions in Northern Nigeria, Sudan, Eretria, and many other places. How it behoves us to pray earnestly for the Christians there, for their protection and deliverance, and for their continued faithfulness to Jesus, and to examine how we may also be able to support them in other ways too. The recent words of the Bishop of Manchester come to mind that “there has been too much silence, for too long, from too high up”. Just where do we as a Christian community here in the Tavistock area fit into all this? Pray for wisdom as to how we, as individuals and community, can influence our leaders to defend the rights of our Christian, and other, threatened minorities.
Read more: From Reverend Mike Loader, Assistant Curate
1 August 2014
August 4th 1914 a whole generation was drawn into the world’s first global conflict. During its four years, the Great War would call upon seventy million men from twenty countries to do their duty. H.G Wells, writing in the newspaper at the time, commented “it would be a war to end all war”. How wrong he was.
When the fighting was over no one could say exactly how many men had been killed, but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield and another 20 million were wounded. None of the countries involved in the war realised how long it would last or how terrible the cost might be. Most thought it would be over in a few short months and that peace would return in 1915.
Enthusiasm greeted the outbreak of war in the capital cities of Europe; soldiers marched off expecting excitement, adventure and glory. Each nation had alliances to honour and old scores to settle. One old soldier left memories of an electric atmosphere, almost unbelievable: “we were excited about it and all ready to join in, because everything had been too peaceful almost until that time”.
But this would be no ordinary war; the massed armies faced a new generation of weapons, from barbed wire to rapid fire artillery and machine guns that spat out 600 rounds a minute—these all changed the very nature of war, and training was woefully inadequate on both sides. Soon both sides became bogged down in an impenetrable line of trenches that stretched from the Swiss border to the English Channel. Soldiers from all sides have left memories of the trenches and the tactics, the floods, the fleas, the casualties- the terrible nature and scale of the slaughter that shattered the old world order.
On August 4th there will be short readings of scripture and poetry, the reading of names from Tavistock, Gulworthy and Brentor War Memorials and prayers read on the hour between 8.00am and 5.00pm at St Eustachius’ Church in Tavistock. You are all very welcome to be part of this remembrance and come and go as you please.
If we do not remember where we have come from, we will not know who we are. Remembrance says something vital about our sense of identity, our sense of mutual belonging----not only with those around us, but with those who have gone before---and those who are yet to come.
Read more: Sue Tucker, lay reader writes