July 2023

I write this at the end of no mow May, and during a week when we are remembering to care for God’s acre, so I am thinking about all those who serve in many ways tending our churchyards and enabling them to be places where God’s creation and God’s presence can be experienced. Thank you. As Patron of the Dorset wildlife trust’s living churchyard project, I recently toured a local churchyard which has been transformed into an oasis, with wild flowers, bench seating and even some bee hives, tended by a local bee keeper, in the corner. In another part of Dorset, I recently dedicated a village meadow, where there are plans to offer bees, birds and visitors a welcome amongst carefully planted shrubs, trees and flowers. I look forward seeing it in future years.

Community orchards and gardens are also transforming lives as produce grown is shared out and given away. The abundance of creation’s riches on our doorstep is for all to enjoy. Our task as God’s stewards is to unlock the possibilities, and I encourage you to do that; to take a look at what is outside your church and see the potential; take time out to sit and pray; make the most of time away walking or sitting in a different environment; surprise someone by giving them some of your home grown produce. For as the psalmist experienced: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul’. Have a good summer.

Bishop Karen

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