From the editor
A Called Life
At a meeting of the Severn Loop Forum the subject of Vocation (calling) was discussed. Bicton Churchwarden Clare Dixon spoke of her awareness that whatever she does is done as a Christian and so can be seen as a vocation. Robert went to talk with her.
Robert What did you want to be when you grew up?
Clare I wanted very much to be a teacher.
R Why didn’t that come about?
C I don’t know. I started helping Dad in the office. He was a solicitor. I would go in and put the files away, and sometimes answer the phone. I loved the administration. I thought if I went into secretarial work I could work in a hospital or a school or an office. What did you want to be?
R I thought about being a policeman when I saw them in films tackling crooks like a rugby player, but when I told my Granny, she said she hoped I would see her safely across the road. That was more mundane than I had in mind! Hey! I’m meant to be asking you the questions! It seems you had all the necessary preparation to be a churchwarden.
C No! I’m still learning, even after eight years.
R Do you enjoy it?
C Very much, but I couldn’t do it without Wendy. And we are very lucky that we have a very capable worship team, who are willing and able to complete the tasks they have to do.
R At the last forum you spoke passionately about your faith.
C It was about life on the front line, and how your faith affects your whole life. Life and faith - one has to go with the other. As my children would tell you, that doesn’t mean I have infinite patience! I heard somebody preaching at a wedding, who said two strands make a stronger rope. If you put a third strand in, it is even stronger. With God in a marriage it is stronger. That was ten years ago and I still remember.
R You have been working at the Co-op for over a year. Is that a sphere of Christian vocation and service?
C Yes it is. I meet people I know and some I don’t. They may need re-assurance, or I may be the only person they speak to that day. It’s a wonderful way of keeping in touch with lots of people. Perhaps all they want is a friendly word or just someone to talk to. I do feel we help in a Christian way.
R A few Sundays ago in the Gospel reading Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” How would you answer that?
C I suppose I’d say he’s my guide and my strength. He certainly gave me the strength to cope with losing my brother and my Dad. It was my prayers as well as the prayers of others that helped me through that. It’s sort of entwined in my life.
R What is important to you about Church life?
C I’m more comfortable with traditional worship. That’s why our family came to Bicton in the eighties. Bicton still did traditional services. There has been an awful lot of change over the years, but quite a lot is still the same fortunately.
R Thank you Clare.
A few days after we spoke Clare and Aston celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. May the next 25 years be as fruitful!
This month there are several items that you may want to put into your diary. Some are the routine events in the Severn Loop. Some are further ahead and further away. Do take a good look and consider trying what you may not have done before. After all that’s what the great heroes of faith did, whether people in the Bible or those who we remember down the centuries of the Church’s history. It is good that we are a part of that ongoing story.
First though, I want to pay tribute to two people whose death this year left a great gap in our hearts as well as in our church and village life.
Maureen Everall, long-time faithful churchwarden at Montford, died after a very short illness at the end of April. And on Sunday 6th August, Rachael Davies died. She was treasurer of Leaton for many years, retiring a couple of years ago.
Both these ladies gave themselves to their duties, and far more. Whenever there were special events to plan, they would be quickly on the case, doing what was necessary, whether organising, catering, or encouraging everyone. In a variety of ways they both made huge contributions to the well-being of the churches.
Let us resolve to be committed to our Lord as they were.
Bishop Michael of Lichfield has written this month, referring to two great men of long ago, St Chad and Martin Luther. Some copies of his piece should be in your church for you to take and read. Robert