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‘in FAITH we FOLLOW + in HOPE we LIVE + in LOVE we SERVE’

Letter from Derek

Dear Friends,

As you will remember, one of the biggest highlights for me last year was seeing an Avocet for the first time.  It seems that ‘these firsts’ are now limitless.  This spring already, I have welcomed my first Siskins to Northgate.  One afternoon I sat and watched: Greenfinches, Bull Finches, Gold Finches, Chaffinches and Siskins all on or around my feeder.  And now, without further ado, I announce that as of April 2022, I now have my first Brambling at Northgate; how wonderful is that!

Spring is wonderful.  Each year flowers and wildlife burst onto the world around us.  Birdsong returns and colour fills our gardens and hedgerows.  These are the things that help me to get through my week, especially as the news has been so difficult with Covid, war and spiralling price rises.

Each Sunday morning, whether at Selham or Lodsworth, before the service begins, I always stand outside to listen and look at the world around.  These are precious moments.  The stillness of West Sussex gently punctured by birdsong and the occasional aircraft returning from exotic climbs.

It makes me wonder; do we all manage to find these moments, what would yours be?  As I grow in years, my spirituality becomes more and more connected to the world around me.  Nature reminds us of the natural balance of life.  Birds and insects live on a yearly cycling that is about reproduction; building a nest, feeding the young until ready to leave and finding food each day.  These are the simple things of life, where enough is enough for life.  I envy this sometimes.  We worry about mortgages, holidays, rising prices and retirement; all very important to us I’m sure, but do we create too much pressure on ourselves?

So, what will be next?  I would love to find a Hedgehog living in my garden or as I did one year, see badgers tumbling on my lawn.  As we busy ourselves, nature goes on all around us.  This spring and summer allow nature to bring you some peace.  As I write Bluebells are beginning to flower.  Soon it will be Cowslips and Wild Garlic.  Enjoy!!

Derek Welsman

If you would like to view any of the reflections or services

that Derek has recorded since March 2020 please click here.

To find a simple form of daily prayer click here (also available as a video)

Other prayer resources may be found on the Church of England website.