Photo by Paul Engel on Unsplash 

Dear friends,

Lots of things are getting back to normal, including church life, and lots of holidays, but that doesn’t mean we’re all feeling normal. Lots of us are feeling the effects of our recent two years of Covid disruption. We do well to happily embrace the resumption of relative normality and also to work through our continuing feelings of loss.

In church, we are pleased to have resumed the receiving of holy communion in both kinds. For two years we had just bread, to address the fears of Covid infection when sharing the cup. In our Questionnaire results, we recognised that most were not ready to resume drinking wine from a shared cup, but that many wanted to have wine again. Therefore, we have provided small individual cups, disposable and recyclable, which are offered at the front of church after the bread is received.

In church we have also resumed regular social events to help our fellowship to be strengthened and allow us to mix in a more informal setting. Our Garden Trail in June was enjoyed by many. All are welcome at Rob & Jean’s Birthday in September and the Harvest Supper in October. We also plan Men’s and Women’s events later in the Autumn. Let’s make the most of these opportunities to meet our fellow regulars and newcomers in St Luke’s.

Let’s also find expression for the feelings of disquiet we still experience because our lives have been set back by Covid disruption. Many of us are feeling down, and may not be coping so well, even if we don’t quite realise. It takes a long while for some of us to feel on track once more. In the meantime, we do well to pour it out to God.

This Summer we have been hearing from the Psalms, and one of the psalms to have a large impact with me is Psalm 42: as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. It is the prayer of one who is down (but not sure why) and who pours out their heart to God.

‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disquieted within me?’

As the psalm progresses, it is easy for us to see why the writer is down. They’ve been isolated. Happy times worshipping at the big gatherings are becoming a distant memory. Even the smallest thing can add to their feeling of being overwhelmed. They feel a long way from God.  In such emotional turmoil, the prayer is an encouragement to take small steps forward, and to put the hope they have in God’s direction.

‘Put your hope in God, for I will praise him again.’

There are good reasons for hope when we believe Jesus, as he brings light into darkness and new life after death.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Yours in Christ,


Canon Rob McLaren, Vicar