Dear FrienKarends and Neighbours,

We have now passed the longest day of the year and it is now really sunny, warm, (the odd shower is welcome for the gardens!) but just what summers should be!!

Although the days are beautiful, the events that have recently filled those days have been ugly, menacing and leave us feeling uncertain of our safety and our futures.

The attacks on Westminster Bridge, Borough Market and more recently the Finsbury Park attack seem to be so senseless and vicious that it almost feels like a nightmare and we will soon wake up in a different world. The fire at Grenfell tower has left so many people dead, families homeless, grieving for their missing family members and friends and without any of their possessions. Under the cloud that those awful events have left hanging over us, it was difficult to move into a celebratory mood to hold a thanksgiving service for Fathers in June. But we did just that. It was a short and joyful service to say thank you for all the nurture and caring that fathers offer to their families, not just when they are young but as they grow into independent adults, often still turning to Mums and Dads for support and advice. As Christians we are called to care for one another, to nurture those lives that we are responsible for and to care for each other – not just because we are friends and neighbours, but because we all belong to the same human race. St Giles, as a church congregation, is seeking to look outwards in different ways. We are opening the church every Tuesday afternoon from 2-5pm for everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea and cake, to chat to others, or to sit quietly in this very beautiful and ancient building. Please feel free to venture over that doorstep and enjoy your very own village church.

August is a time for holidays and a change of pace as the schools finish their summer term. This year we are saying goodbye to Mrs Ridge as St Giles head teacher. This will be very sad for so many of us who have benefitted from her leadership and support at the school. We wish her a very long and happy retirement, we pray for her future; that it will be both enjoyable and satisfying. May we all have a happy and refreshing break from our routines this year and return safely at the beginning of September and for the children, a new school year.

The churches will soon be planning their Harvest Festival services and celebrations. Look in the next edition of Parish Pages for details.

May God Bless us all,