The Vicar Writes – August 2019

Dear Friends,

Here we are August already and  we are in the height of summer, enjoying some lovely summer weather, at least from time to time. I was pleased to note that it did not rain on St Swithun’s day so we are in with a chance of more good weather!

Even the Scarecrow weekend was good albeit after a rather cold, wet and windy start to the proceedings. It was yet again another successful fundraising event totalling at the last count, over £9,000 for community groups including St Katharine’s. I would like to add my own thanks to everyone who put in such a tremendous amount of hard work, from the Committee who spend months preparing and rallying the village to get involved and make scarecrows, to the volunteers who provided activities and refreshments, and of course to the residents who actually made it a Scarecrow Festival to attract visitors and locals alike and make it such a good day out.

It is so much more than a fundraising exercise. It also brings the whole community together and there’s nothing more rewarding for all the hard work, than to see people, especially whole families, walking round with smiles on their faces as they admire the creations on display. After 13 years it’s become a fixture in the calendar, an institution. The original committee felt it was time to hand over the reins and I’m delighted to hear that new people have stepped up to take on the mantel. I wish everyone – old committee and new committee – the very best as they work together to hand over the organising for next year. Who knows, maybe 2020 will be the year that Peter and I make a scarecrow ourselves! (but don’t hold me to that!)

Some of you may know that the Scarecrow Festival won an award last year from the Manchester Diocese. The awards are given to projects that make a difference in their communities. So it was wonderful that not only was the hard work recognised but also its transforming effect on the life of Blackrod. Well done everyone!

A few weeks ago Valerie Marron, Jean Hibbert and I went to a mini conference in Bolton organised by the Church community in Bolton. It was to celebrate, inspire and encourage all the different ways the Christian churches of all denominations enable us to live well in the Bolton Borough. One of the speakers urged us all to celebrate all that is good about where we live. We can always find things to complain about, but if we live our lives in a spirit of thankfulness, “Counting our blessings” rather than bemoaning our lot, our spirits will be lifted and we will notice God’s love as it flows into us and out through us into the community.

So as we enjoy the lovely weather and reflect on everything that is good about where we live, let us thank God for our community. For all who live and work here and for the opportunity He gives us to be part of the reason that makes Blackrod a great place to live.

Have a great summer everyone,

God Bless, Angela