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Girton Parish News - July 2000
The Girton Wood
On Friday evening the 19th of May twenty eight people from the village and two members from the Woodland Trust met at the site of the new wood and later at the WI Hall to decide the planting scheme.
Everyone had lots of ideas for the variety of trees and their lay-out, a seat and its position and last of all the name of the wood. Many villagers who had pledged their money had filled in a questionnaire provided by the Woodland Trust and from this list the name of the wood was chosen - The Girton Wood.
The next time we meet with the Woodland Trust is on Sunday 3rd December and as many volunteers armed with spades and forks are needed to plant four thousand trees. Then we shall see that at last Girton has a wood and has fulfilled the aims of the project to plant 2000 trees by the year 2000.
Evensong at St. Andrew's
We love Evensong because it serves a different purpose from those of the vibrant family services and the rituals that are the essence of Communion. The evening service provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the week that is past and to strengthen ourselves for the days ahead, in an atmosphere that is calm and familiar.
The sermons, always stimulating and often uncompromising in their intellectual rigour, are delivered by a gifted team of preachers (sadly, now without William Purcell, who was surely one of the most outstanding communicators of his generation). The hymns are well-known and well-loved, and the ASB (Alternative Service Book) and Book of Common Prayer liturgies are used alternately. The congregation is warm, welcoming and relaxed - no one is in a hurry to leave at the end of the service.
So why not join us on Sunday evenings at six o'clock, whatever your age or background - swell the numbers and set yourself up spiritually for the rest of the week!
Marina and Tyrell
Snakes and Ladders
For most of the game you are simply counting along the squares, but the excitement comes when you land on a ladder or a snake. From the foot of a ladder you ascend to a new square at the top, but from the head of a snake you drop down to the tip of its tail.
Life in our church at the moment is a little bit like snakes and ladders. Take the new building for example. This has been a "ladder" experience in more ways than one as we have just had a burst of activity to erect the frame. Now, though, we are marking time, waiting for the new windows to be made and the roof to be put on. The building is under wraps to protect it from the weather and I've just got to learn to be patient.
Inside the fellowship we have enjoyed a "ladder" experience and are about to endure two "snakes". We enjoyed a wonderful Pentecost weekend with a service of believer's baptism in the morning when Mark Howard was baptised followed by the united open air service on the recreation ground in the afternoon. Yet the joy of Mark's baptism was tinged with a slight note of sadness, for Mark and his family are shortly leaving us to move to Cardiff. Also leaving us is the Mansfield family, Alan, Penny, William and James, moving to new pastures in Northumberland, and we shall feel their loss. Alan has been in the church all his life,. Over the years he has been church secretary, led the youth group and played the organ. Penny has taught in the Sunday school and both of them were a real encouragement to me when I started my ministry in Girton.
The downs in life aren't pleasant and, like the snakes in the game, we try to avoid them. Yet although they come they can never ultimately defeat us or knock us completely off the board. God never promises anyone an easy life, all of us experience a mixture of ups and downs. We might long for a level playing field, but if it were granted we would never experience the highs at the top of the ladders or be fully aware of the nearness of God when at the end of a snake's tail. For the truth is that it is often when we are feeling at our lowest that we become most aware of God's presence.
The psalmist in the Bible reflected on this truth in Psalm 107; where time and again he described some down, "snake" type, experience endured by the nation or individuals. Each thought concludes though with the confident refrain, "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress". At the lowest point, God lifted them up. A similar example God's presence in the downs of life comes in a little story entitled "Footprints". In it a man reflects on his life being like footprints in the sand. Quite often there are two sets of prints, that he recognises as being his and God's, but at other times he sees only one set and this puzzles him for on reflection he realises that these prints represent the down times in life. Thinking that the one set must be his, he asks the Lord where he was on those occasions. "My son", replied the Lord, "Those prints were mine, for they represented the times I carried you." We can't always avoid the "snakes", but we can use them as opportunities for searching out God.
Girton Glebe News
We chose a superb day for Sports Day earlier this month, with everyone fully participating, enjoying the challenges and cheering each other on. Many children got gold medals, and the Blue Team won. We came 2nd and 3rd in the local Kwik Cricket Tournament, again on a perfect summer's day.
We were one of only 6 schools to have our Safer Routes to School bid approved by the County Council. We shall be looking at reducing the number of car journeys by increasing the numbers of children walking and cycling to school, and other health and safety issues such as road safety, personal safety etc.
The action plan is yet to be drawn up, but this is excellent news for the school and the Home/School Partnership Group.