Your basket
Your basket
0 items - £0.00

Personal tools

Home News Harvest of a Quiet Eye

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Harvest of a Quiet Eye

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Sep, 2020 10:14 PM

One of the great strengths of the Diocese of Salisbury is our treasure trove of priests, lay ministers, parish officers, staff and others who produce resources and write books. This is a key part of our commitment to discipleship in this part of the world.

Inspiration can strike at any time, and abrupt changes can provide opportunities. Sometimes, 'unplanned' turns out to be best.

On Tuesday 17th March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold across the UK, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced that public worship in the Church of England would be suspended to help slow the spread of the virus.

From then on, every day until public worship resumed on Sunday 5th July - a total of 109 days - the Revd Tim Heaton emailed a short 'thought for the day' to everyone in his church family.

The thoughts have developed into a time capsule of unprecedented days, first of fear and later of hope, a time of soul searching, and of seeking a greater future for humanity.

Tim says:

"On Wednesday 18th March, the day after the Archbishop's announcement that public worship in the CofE was suspended, I was due to preside at the mid-week Holy Communion service at St Mary the Virgin in Gillingham. Instead I had to stay at home. Knowing that this was likely to be a long haul, I decided to post a brief thought on my FB page and resolved to do the same every day until public worship resumed.

"After about a week, my clergy colleagues Peter Greenwood and Eve Pegler decided that they were worth copying by email to everyone on the church email list, which was growing fast as every day of lockdown went by.

"Surprisingly, a great number of people were to say how much these daily emails meant to them during lockdown. They looked forward to them every day as a point of contact with the Church and with God, and they helped them get through it.

Parishioner David Grundy says:

"At the beginning of lockdown, Tim started to send daily reflections on what lockdown meant for him. As someone who is self-isolating, I quickly found that I was looking forward to his very apt and encouraging daily thoughts, which were a real inspiration during the whole 109 days of lockdown, and helped to keep me in good communication with the church family."

Fellow parishioner Anne Bridge adds:

"Thought for the Day, as well as being insightful and providing thoughts for discussion, was a very welcome daily certainty at a most uncertain and anxious time and very much appreciated - and will continue to be so."

Tim explains:

"There was no intention in the beginning to compile them into book form, but when public worship resumed a lot of people told me how much they would like to have a copy of the reflections to re-read. So rather than simply having a word document printed by the local printers and having to distribute it myself, I simply thought it would be easiest to publish it for free on Kindle Direct Publishing.

"It also meant that the royalties paid to me on every book sold - a minimum of £1 for both the Paperback and the Kindle Edition - could be donated to the churches in the benefice which, as you well know, are in much need of financial support at this time.

"The title 'Harvest Of A Quiet Eye' is an aphorism of Austin O'Malley's. I used it in one of the reflections and later thought it would be a good title for the book."

The Revd Tim Heaton is in parish ministry in the benefice of Gillingham, Milton on Stour and Silton in the Sherborne Archdeaconry. He is the author of 'The Naturalist and the Christ', 'The Long Road to Heaven', and a contributor to BRF’s 'New Daylight' Bible reading notes.

Document Actions