Sunday Letter for 5th Sunday after Lent 21st March 2021

St Mary's ChardHello everyone,
Spring is definitely my favourite season of the year. A season of hope and new beginnings, the days are getting longer – evenings lighter.
As I walk the dogs these days I seem to have more time to take in my surroundings. At the moment I don’t have to rush to be anywhere by a certain time, unless it’s pouring with rain, of course. Around me I experience the smell of freshly cut grass; the blossom is beginning to come out on the trees in Snowdon Park; the daffodils have been, and still are, a spectacular display. Recently many saplings have been planted in Chard, different varieties tucked up in their tubes until they get stronger. I can see that the fields are changing from their muddy brown of Winter to the bright greens of Spring. In the distance I can just about see some lambs. The bird song early in the morning is wonderful, especially where there is little sound of traffic. I count my blessings that I live in such a wonderful area and try not to take the wildlife for granted.
Some of you may have seen in the local press an article about Wilder Churches. Somerset Wildlife and Diocese of Bath and Wells are aiming to support communities to encourage and to protect biodiversity in churchyards. We will be encouraged to create areas for wildlife if there aren’t any at present and to protect those that we have already. Watch this space!
Jesus compared himself to a grain of wheat planted in the ground. The seed doesn’t literally die when it lies in its wintry grave. But changes come over it, so that it’s no longer recognisable as a seed. Then, in Spring, it emerges in a new form altogether, as a green blade, and eventually an ear of wheat, to be harvested and provide food for the people, and the seed-corn to ensure a prosperous future.
But to do this the seed must die: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain, Wheat that in dark earth, many days has lain; Love lives again, that with the dead has been; Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Enjoy this wonderful season and take care,

Ruth

The other sign of hope is that we are going to hold two services on Easter Sunday. At St Mary’s, Chard at 10.00 am and at Combe St Nicholas at 10.30 am.
Georgina and I felt strongly that, as we missed being together last Easter, that we want to give people the opportunity to be together on our most important Sunday of the year. Both services will be a Holy Communion service.
One of the services will be livestreamed for those who feel they are not ready to return to church just yet.
We are slowly moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel, and we hope that we will see you all before long.
In the meantime, as Ruth says, Spring is here, and the promise of new life is all around us. God be praised.
Ann

Manor Court School are all taking part in an Art Project around Chard about signs of hope. They have decided to choose ‘Birds of Hope’ as their theme and all of the children will be making, painting, writing about birds. Their work will be displayed on our church railings at St Mary’s.
They have asked if as many of you as possible would contribute your own bird – made or created in any way you like. The bird could be knitted or crocheted or made 3D in any way. However, you could colour or paint one of the outlines enclosed with this letter, or make a collage using whatever you have to hand. You could cut out some pictures of birds and put them together in an interesting way. We will be laminating anything that is on paper. Be creative!
Once you have created your bird you can bring it into the church where there will be a box for them to be collected or give it to the person who delivers your weekly letter. They could also be posted to me at The Vicarage, Forton Road, TA20 2HJ, or put through my letter box. We will need them by Thursday 1st April (no this isn’t an April Fool’s!) so that we can get them up and displayed by Easter Sunday.