Rector’s Wife’s Letter

The restoration of the clock at St. Michael & All Angels church in Winterbourne Earls is a lovely gesture towards the past when not everyone in a village took having a wrist watch (or smartphone) for granted, and aspects of village life revolved around the striking of the hours and the half hours.  A unique way of keeping the time was discovered in Cape Town, South Africa. From the foot of Table Mountain a gun would be fired at noon. An observer watching the two gunners fire the cannon wondered how they could tell when to fire it. They pointed to a mounted telescope and replied that they could see a clock through it. The clock in question was outside a jeweller’s shop and was declared to be the finest clock in the Cape. Later the same day the observer was in town and found himself outside the jeweller’s, so he went in and asked the owner about the clock. The owner explained that it had been imported from Amsterdam in the 19th century and was the finest timekeeper in South Africa. When the observer asked the shopkeeper how he ensure that the clock was accurate each day, he replied that it was a relatively straightforward procedure. He set the clock by the sound of a noonday gun across the valley.  The passing of time is the one great equality in our world. Everyone has the same number of hours in each day. The difference is how we use those hours. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us, among quite a few wise things, that God has also set eternity in the hearts of his created people. At this time of year we hope for good weather, for sunshine with just the right amount of rain for our wells and reservoirs, our gardens and crops. Sometimes we are disappointed, but each new day, each season, can bring the hope of a new start. We can decide to forgive and forget, to carry out an act of kindness that we have been thinking about for some time, to finish a job that has become a burden to us, to write a letter, an email or make a telephone call which may re-establish hope in someone. Take a few minutes to speak to God in prayers. What you don’t ask for, you may not get…! One more thing is certain, each new day holds the promise of God’s love and his desire that we follow his guidelines about how we spend our time so that we can know his peace in our lives, and eternity with Him in our hearts. 

Bless you


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