Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

January 2015

This months News



Reflections on a Quiet Morning 

At the beginning of Advent, a Shipston Deanery ‘Quiet Morning’ was held at the Old Chapel conducted by the Reverend Cathy Davies.  This contemplative event  was in four parts interspaced with intervals of half an hour or so when the individuals attending found their own space (literally) within or outside the Chapel and in stillness reflected on suggested topics or, indeed, the meaning of Life, the Universe and everything.

In her introduction to the day’s format, Cathy drew our attention to the striking difference between the quiet start of the Church’s new year leading up to the birth of Christ at Christmas and the fireworks and noisy celebrations that bring in the secular New Year.  A little different, too, to the frenetic activity that characterised Black Friday when Xmas shoppers reportedly fought over reduced price bargains offered by supermarkets and departmental stores in the major towns.

Each of the reflection and prayer periods focused upon / was illustrated by a famous painting – the first being ‘The Annunciation’ by He Qi depicting the angel Gabriel visiting Mary and telling her that she would give birth to a son and that she would call him Jesus.  It was suggested that in the first quiet period we might like to ponder upon what we treasured in our everyday life, our community, our church, and in the wider world.  I sat in the beautifully refurbished chapel hall bathed in the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows, counted my blessings, and listened for a hoped for, still, small voice…..

The second session centred on Luke’s account of Simeon and Anna waiting in their old age for the coming of the Messiah and their joy when Jesus was brought to the temple by his parents.  The topic for consideration / meditation was how we could best experience / set aside time for stillness and, perhaps, make room for God in our daily lives.  I sat outside in the chapel garden warmed by the midday sun, listened to bird song and buzzing insects, enjoyed the peace of the Oxhill countryside, and continued to listen for a hoped for, still, small voice…..

The third period of reflection and prayer was about those less fortunate than ourselves. Jesus’ words paraphrased from Matthew’s gospel:  “I was hungry and you fed me; thirsty and you gave me drink; a stranger and you received me into your home; naked and you clothed me; sick and you took care of me.  In so far as you do this for others, you do it for me.”  Much food for thought on a personal level …..

In the final session Cathy reminded us that in the coming season of Advent we were here to watch and wait and pray for the coming of Christ’s light into the world.  Prayers were said and candles lit to “Light up the future that we may prepare for it in hope”.   The day ended with a late lunch of soup and a roll with the company refreshed and energised by an event that had concentrated the mind in periods of unaccustomed, for most of us, silence and stillness.  It was a day that I can recommend to others as a very worthwhile life experience should the event be repeated on a future occasion.

Douglas Nethercleft

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Last modified: December 27, 2014