Dear FrienKarends and Neighbours,

As I write this I am trying to prepare for several events all at once – a guaranteed recipe for disaster! My thoughts are constantly distracted by the news of Hurricane Irma. I have major concerns for all the Caribbean islands that are currently suffering so very badly from this hurricane, with even more hurricanes on the way. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people out there, especially for those friends made during my work there in 2015. There is always a danger of hurricanes at this time of year but despite regular training and review of emergency planning, nothing truly prepares you for those howling winds and lashing rains. The UK doesn’t have these extremes of weather which can cause such problems for everyone – we are very fortunate – yet we still find time to moan about too much rain or too much sun!!

Another event is the visit of Fr Carl Peters from Guyana. This is his first visit to the UK with a view to extending his understanding of the worldwide church and to develop stronger links with the Caribbean through our existing Links group. It is an opportunity for people in many areas to meet and get to know one another, extending friendships and horizons for us all. It is also an opportunity for us to learn from him about his work in Guyana.

I am joining a Pilgrimage to Italy in the next few days, so as well as packing etc I have to plan for clergy to cover the services at both churches. The pilgrimage is being led by Canon Dennis Stamps, who is known for his extensive knowledge of the work of St Paul and over the past few years several of us have travelled with Dennis to Turkey and Greece. This year we are visiting Rome and Assisi. During this pilgrimage we will visit places known to St Paul, we will celebrate Holy Communion and worship in those places; each evening there will be talks and reflections on the events of the day. It will be a wonderful experience for us all and a chance to reflect on the centuries of Christian worship we can all benefit from today.

May God Bless us all,