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Thought for the day 4th April 2020

Fixed routine was never really my thing. But it now appears that routine may be the key to managing the national lock-down necessitated by Covid-19. Christopher Jamison, former abbot of Worth, says the great thing about living in a monastery is that there are always bells telling you what to do. I’m not sure I’d cope with that, but what does make sense is getting out for exercise once a day if you can. And one of the huge blessings of having the care of a parish on the Ashdown Forest –Christ Church, Fairwarp is proudly the only church on the Forest – is that there are acres of empty space on which to take that daily exercise. And what surprises it brings…

Birds! The empty skies and the absence of traffic means you can hear them as never before. Yesterday I heard a sort of chippa, chippa, chippa, chippa, cheep sound I couldn’t place. But there on the top of a fir tree was its origin: a black-capped, white throated bird I couldn’t identify: ideas, anyone? But then later the same walk, an unmistakeable, joyous torrent of song greeted me, as a skylark arose from the heath twenty yards ahead. There’s no comparison. For the poet P B Shelley the skylark was spirit not bird, pouring its ‘full heart / In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.’ At joyous moments like this, prayer is an uplifted heart.

Fr John

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