From the Rector
I am delighted to announce that from next summer we will be having a new Curate in the Benefice.
Robin Thwaites,who is currently studying at Cuddesdon Theological College near Oxford, will be ordained Deacon at Petertide 2020 and will then be with us for this training post.
Several times in the past I have led pilgrimages to the Spanish city of Avila, west of Madrid, home of the inspirational St Teresa of Avila, and where she met John of the Cross.
I am planning to do so again in October 2020. If you are at all interested in finding out more, please contact me (email@example.com or 01208 850088).
At this stage, I am merely finding out who might register an interest. Before any decisions are made, there will be an information evening at the Rectory on a date to be decided.
One of the most unexpected but eminently sensible telephone calls I have received in my parish ministry came some years ago in our Dorset market town.
It was from a man who was about to put in an offer on a house very close to the parish church, certainly well within earshot, and he was keen to know, having spotted the church tower, how often and for how long the bells were usually rung.
He was very logically just making sure that he would be able to cope with the regular pattern as a resident. I was able to reassure him that usual service and practice times were fairly modest, and I think he went ahead and bought the property.
Though I fully accept that church bells are not universally popular, they are for most of us, and certainly for me, a beautiful and functional part of community life.
We recently spent a few days in the historic Spanish city of Avila, and one of my favourite memories is of midday in a place studded with significant churches, monasteries and convents, with bells of differing timbres and from various directions sounding out the hour or the angelus.
I find that there is something very deep about marking key moments of prayer and worship with tolling bells, or even a single bell. That’s why I always preface evening prayers at St Tudy with the tolling of the treble bell, partly in the hope that someone will join me, but partly to mark the fact that prayers are being offered for all our people at that regular time of 5.30pm.
John Betjeman, who of course loved our part of Cornwall so much, and especially Blisland church, entitled his blank verse autobiography ‘Summoned by Bells’.
We are very fortunate in our villages that we have active tower teams at four of the parish churches in the Benefice.
The tower captains work really hard, well supported by their members, and they enable Sunday services, weddings, occasional funerals and important national events to be marked by our bells.
For an hour or so on a midweek evening, they practice to ensure that their standard is maintained and new recruits encouraged.
We are so grateful for their skill, commitment and dedication. But most of all they have my gratitude for enabling that ancient music to punctuate our weeks and to sing God’s praises.