Today we begin with greetings from Marjorie Stott, a long-standing member of the choir at St. Mary’s Conwy. Like many of our more senior folk, she is not able to connect online, but we are indebted to others in our community who print these daily reflections regularly to make sure everyone is included.
It fits well with the reflection that follows, today from Reverend Eryl Parry!
Diane Kaiser writes on Marjorie’s behalf:
Although Marjorie is fed up with being confined to home, she’s keeping very busy with gardening, reading and enjoying phone calls and safe distance visits in her lovely garden with family, friends and neighbours. With the VE day celebrations last Friday I thought it would be good for people to hear a little of Marjorie’s own war-time experiences, that she has shared with myself and Sandra Friedrich.
Marjorie joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1941/42 and spent the war cooking for hundreds of soldiers. She was a Lance Corporal and for much of her time was based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Night after night she heard planes and sirens as incendiary bombs were aimed at trains and the steel works at nearby Sheffield. On VE day itself, Marjorie recalls the celebrations in the main square in Chesterfield. She then moved up to Edinburgh and continued cooking for soldiers at the Carlton Hotel. This is now the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, but during the war it was taken over for use by the military. Marjorie was in Edinburgh when the end of the war was declared on 15th August 1945 (VJ Day).
At the end of the war, Marjorie met her late husband, Jim, in Leeds where the 8th Army had returned after fighting in Italy. He was singing in a hotel where Marjorie was dining with friends. When he finished singing, he smiled at her, asked for her address and they then wrote letters to each other. They married not long after…
Revealing our true selves
Drwy’r cwbl roeddwn i’n dangos sut bydden ni’n gallu helpu’r tlodion drwy weithio’n galed. Dych chi’n cofio fod yr Arglwydd Iesu ei hun wedi dweud: ‘Mae rhoi yn llawer gwell na derbyn.’
Actau 20: 35
In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Reverend Eryl Parry writes:
There are many ways in which we are revealing our true selves, through this period of lockdown. The cat is out of the bag. For those of us who regularly get our hair dyed at the hairdressers, there might be a tiny bit of comfort in Proverbs 16:31 ‘Grey hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.’ But am I quite ready to wear it?!
In the end, I know that’s vanity. But there is something much more profound happening during this time when we reassess what and who we value. The extent to which we’re prepared to follow Government guidelines on social distancing is a measure of how concerned we are about protecting the most vulnerable in our community. Although many young people have lost their lives to COVID-19, the largest number of deaths have been of those who are older or with pre-existing medical conditions. Their lives matter.
One of the great things that has happened through the pages of these daily reflections, is to hear the voices of many people – some who have never shared so publicly before their reflections on faith. We are wiser for this, and we are growing stronger as a community. We all matter, and how wonderful it is today to hear the voice of one of the oldest members of the St. Mary’s Conwy congregation – and still a very much valued member of the choir.
However long we have to endure the restricted life of lockdown, we might take our lead from St. Paul, who in bidding farewell to the elders in the church at Ephesus, implored them to look after those in their community who were the weakest. It fits well, too, with our giving to Christian Aid during this week, as they support those with the least around the world. Here, our giving away of some of our freedoms at this time, it seems to me, is for the weakest in our local community. The extent to which we care for the most vulnerable, is a test of our character and our faith: the revealing of our true selves.
Grist Iesu ein Harglwydd,
a’n dysgaist i garu ein cymydog
ac i ofalu am yr angenhenus
fel pe baem yn gofalu andanat ti.
Yn yr amser hwn o bryder,
dyro i ni’r nerth i gysuro’r ofnus,
i ymgeleddu’r cleifion
ac i sicrhau’r ynysig o’n cariad ni
a’th gariad di tuag atynt.
Er mwyn dy enw di. Amen.
Cyfieithiad Meira Shakespear
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake. Amen.
Church of England prayer during coronavirus outbreak
Click here for Daily Reflections
Click here for Bro Celynnin Videos