August Team Letter from Revd. Canon Simon PitcherJuly 25, 2019
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43 verse 19a
If I were to travel to Glastonbury my imagination would be fired by the ruins of the once mighty Abbey, and by the legends of King Arthur, rather than by the music festival on a nearby farm. Nevertheless I have been watching some of the music festival from the comfort of my armchair.
I was put in mind of these verses from the prophet Isaiah while watching the artist Stormzy. These are the lyrics of one of his most popular songs.
“Lord, I’ve been broken, although I’m not worthy, you fixed me, I’m blinded by your grace, you came and saved me.”
Stormzy led the crowd of thousands in singing this song together. It must have been the biggest moment of praise to our God anywhere this summer. Seeing so many sing these words together was very moving and caused Stormzy to fall to his knees. Pondering this collective outpouring of emotion provided evidence, if one is willing to see it, of God’s renewing presence in our world, and of the Holy Spirit refreshing the face of the earth.
In a Sole Bay summer this year we have celebrated Sole Encounter, The Beach Mission, The Arts Festival, 50 years of Uggeshall teas, South Cove flower festival, Vicarage teas, and many weddings. We will welcome many visitors and we will enjoy rich worship together. In all these things the same Spirit is moving among and within us. Isaiah’s prophecy makes me want to sing Stormzy’s song (perhaps not as well as him). Both of these then put in mind of Gerard Manley Hopkin’s poem;
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Revd Canon Simon Pitcher
Team Rector of the Sole Bay Team