A Warden’s Tale. July 2018

On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, bright and early, Bede and I had a lovely trip over to Kempston to be sworn in as churchwardens for yet another year. There were several of us there and even more attendees for the new churchwardens’ training day. Bede and I didn’t stay for the training and decided to drive back through Woburn Deer Reserve. We could see parts of the safari park and a fallow deer herd, such majestic creatures. We agreed that we really are very lucky to have such beautiful countryside and wildlife all around where we live.

As you may know, some of us meet at St Leonard’s for morning prayer at 08:45 each weekday. Traditionally, morning prayer is known as ‘Lauds’ and still is in the monastic prayer book. Lauds is a Latin word for ‘praise’ and having such beauty on our doorstep gives us so much to praise God for. Mind you, we still thank Him for rain, snow, sleet, fog and the beauty of all our seasons. Personally, I hate hot weather, so our seasons have something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy. I’m looking forward to getting out my jumpers and boots. So much easier to get warm in cold weather than it is to stay cool on a blistering hot day. Besides, the constant sound of a panting pug can get on your nerves after the first few hours!

Some of you may be aware that Bede and I have had some upsetting times of late, but we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support we have received. We did not realise, until now, just how much concern and support that we have from our church family; and for this, we are incredibly grateful and humbled. In times of trouble, our church family really know how to pull together and support each other. St Leonard’s really is a great church to belong to and we all know how important it is to belong. I have a great fridge sticker at home which says ‘FRIENDS….so much cheaper than a psychiatrist!!!! AND…. you get birthday and Christmas cards too!!

When Bede and I first became wardens, our first priority was to save as much money on bills, repairs etc as possible. Sadly, and despite all our best efforts, we find ourselves struggling to find the money to both maintain and manage the church building.  We all know the pressure which comes from meeting those dreaded monthly bills and our church is no exception. Were it not for Jill Thomas, our long-suffering Treasurer, we would have reached this point even sooner. The Parochial Church Council a.k.a. PCC is supporting a drive for increased giving. We all know the pressure that comes with increasing costs over the years and we need to ensure the church remains well cared for and maintained if it is to be enjoyed by future generations.

Our regular seasonal lunches for those in our community who live alone, are lonely or isolated have always been funded by the community and not our church. Revd Noel, myself and Br Bede started these lunches around three years ago, well before there was a national awareness of the pain and suffering that loneliness and social isolation can bring. We now have quite a team of people who are committed to this event and it really is, in my view, the best thing we do. Bede and I cook, Noel and others help set up and put away. The only job we probably need more help with is the washing up. If you have some spare time on 28th July and can join us from about 2 pm please let either Bede or I know.