Welcome to my attempt to live fully and honestly, to sing out the song of myself, to truly know who I am......

.....either that or the ramblings of a barely coherant, tired out mum of two!!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Medieval Practices - A warning.

If you are a parent and have ever had any experience of mental illness be afraid - be very afraid.

I was watching 'This Morning' earlier and they were interviewing a young woman (22) who had had a bout of mental illness including self harming after she was assaulted as a mid teen.

She is now expecting her first child and social services are standing by to take away her new born at the time of birth because a doctor who has never met her has decided she is a risk to her child because of her mental health history.

Once the baby arrives she will no longer be able to fight publicly against the decision as she will be subject to a gagging order.

This woman has never done anything wrong. She has no record of harming children yet dhe will not be given the chance to prove her parental ability because one doctor who does not know her has condemned her.

Let me repeat that: A doctor who has never examined this young woman has judged her to be a risk and so despite the evidence of doctors who have treated her to the contrary she will never be allowed to keep her child.

Is this justice or an abuse of power?

John Hemming MP (www.johnhemming.blogspot.com) is leading a campaign to make the family court more transparent and to stop it using its power to gag people. I would urge you to pledge him your support.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Lords Prayer and the Friend at Midnight.

A sermon for Sunday 26th August. Luke 11: 1-10

If I were to ask you all individually what your experience of prayer has been like throughout your lifetime I am sure that I would get a number of very different responses. I would expect that we all have different experiences of prayer in our personal spiritual journeys. There may be mountain top experiences or times that prayer seems drier than the driest of deserts.
Some of us may be so in tune with God that we pray almost continually and are not even aware that we are doing so. For others finding even five minutes to spend with God in the midst of our busyness is a challenge and one which we often fail.
Prayer can be a blessing or a burden. It can raise us to the throne of heaven or bounce off the ceiling, leaving us wondering if it isn’t all just a waste of time. So how should we pray? Is there a right way, some formula that will always guarantee us success?
Lets go back to the words of Jesus as reported by Luke in this mornings Gospel reading.

Jesus has just been praying when his disciples come to him and ask that he teach them how to pray ‘just as John taught his disciples’. It was customary at that time for Rabbi’s to teach their followers a simple prayer to use in their own daily devotions. John had done so and now the disciples ask the same thing of Jesus.
Jesus replies with the familiar words of what we now call ‘The Lords Prayer’.
2 He said to them, "When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.' "
The prayer begins by addressing God as ‘Father’. This reflects the intimacy of the relationship between Jesus and God and hints at the intimacy that we too can have with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is not a remote God that we are talking to - this is a loving Father – our loving Father.
The next line is ‘hallowed be your name’. This can cause some confusion especially if the word is misheard as ‘Harold’, why is God called Harold? The word ‘hallowed’ means sanctified, blessed, and consecrated. In Hebrew culture to speak of a person’s name was to talk about the whole character of that person. Similarly today we talk about someone who is striving to ‘clear their name’. God has revealed to us his Holy nature and for us to pray for His name to be hallowed – sanctified and blessed – is for us to recognise his nature, to know him as he is and so to love and to trust him. It also expresses the desire for the true nature of God to be known throughout the world.
This is a theme followed up by the words ‘Your Kingdom Come’. Jesus came to bring about Gods heavenly kingdom on earth and here he instructs us to continue to pray for its establishment.
The first part of the prayer then is taken up with honouring God, only when we give God his proper place will other things and needs fall into their proper place.

The prayer now moves on to discuss our own needs – daily bread – or enough of everything to satisfy each days needs. This has echoes of the Exodus when God provided manna in the desert – sufficient for each day. In today’s old testament reading we heard how if the manna was kept until the next day it would spoil, go mouldy and be unfit to eat. So we are not to worry about the unknown future but to live each day to the full and trust that God has it covered.
In the first part of the prayer we focussed on the purity and sacredness of God and now we bring our imperfectness, our fallenness to him and pray for the forgiveness of our sins. Yet we are at the same time reminded that we must also forgive others.
The prayer ends sooner than the version contained in Matthew with the plea to guard us against temptation. Temptation means more than just the seduction of sin - it means any testing situation – any trial – that we must face. Some of these testing times can be avoided but for those that we must pass through we can be sure of God guarding us, guiding us and bringing us through safely. Our God is not a remote God – he is our loving Father.

After teaching them the prayer Jesus goes on to tell them a parable.
5 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Hospitality in the Hebrew culture is a sacred duty. It is not enough to offer a visitor just enough – the guest must be confronted with an ample abundance. So your friend has just arrived late and the cupboard is bare - there is nothing to give him. What do you do? There is no 24hour Spar – the only option is to go and ask a friend. The friend is asleep. The house would probably have been a one room structure with a single window. There would have been a raised platform with a fire burning on it and the family and the family’s livestock would be huddled together on rush mats. To disturb one person would be to wake the whole household. Your friend tells you to go away. Jesus goes on to say that if the man won’t get up because he is a friend he will get up because of the mans bold persistence or shamelessness and supply everything that is needed.
At first glance it would appear that we should be persistent in prayer and if we don’t immediately get what it is we asked for we should batter away at God until we get what we want.
This, of course, is not true. The parable only makes sense when taken in the context of the prayer before it and when contrasted to the words that follow it. Jesus says:
9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Jesus is telling us that if an unwilling householder can in the end be coerced by a friends shameless persistence into giving him what he needs, how much more will God who is a loving Father supply all his children’s needs?
God – who wills to answer our petitions is contrasted with an earthly person who is indifferent to his friends’ pleas.
A request for physical bread is contrasted with the plea for the food of the kingdom.
If the plea for earthly benefit eventually produces a response how much more will God, our loving Father, respond to those requests for things that are in accordance to his will?

The Lords Prayer gives us a template to show us how to pray and together with the parable it gives us an insight into why we pray.
Prayer is about relationship. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we are invited to have an intimate relationship with God.
Our God is not a remote God but a loving Father – our loving Father. When we love someone we spend time with them, we tell them about ourselves, our needs and desires, our hopes and our dreams. When we love someone we listen to them as they reveal their innermost selves to us. We grow together in a bond of love and trust.
This is what prayer is!
Of course there are many things that can get in the way of our relationships from silly misunderstandings to betrayal and mistrust. And there are many things that can get in the way of our relationship with God.
Our busyness can squeeze time with God to the margins of our day, feelings of guilt or worthlessness can make us reluctant to approach a perfect and holy God or we can feel that our lives are just to messy to bring before the purity of God. But God is not a remote God – He is a loving Father – our loving Father.
Those of you who have or have had close contact with young children will know that when a child has fallen down in the mud and is crying what they need is a hug and some reassurance. Generally we don’t wait until they are cleaned up and have got themselves together before we stoop down to them, scoop them up and comfort them.
If even we with all our imperfections can love one another – how much more will our loving Father love us. When we come into his presence dirty and distressed, feeling unworthy or hopeless Our God, Our loving Father will stoop down and scoop us up and give us comfort. Our God is not a remote God but a loving Father, our loving Father.
What’s more unlike our earthly relationships which sometimes go disastrously wrong, God, by his very nature, will not let us down. He will not betray us like our friends can. He will not abuse us as human parents sometimes do. He will not abandon us because of our many failings like some we may have trusted have done.
God is faithful and just and will forgive us over and over again. We need not be afraid to come into his perfect presence whatever state we are in we just need to come.
If you struggle to find time to spend with God for whatever reason start small and grab the opportunity for longer prayer times whenever they present themselves. If you only have a few minutes in the morning then perhaps memorise or write down a verse from the Bible or a phrase from the liturgy we say week by week on a Sunday. Take this verse with you throughout the day, let it swirl around and inhabit your mind. If you are suddenly presented with twenty, or ten or even five minutes during the course of the day then grab it and use it to talk with God. Don’t worry for a moment about the dishes in the sink or the mess in the living room or the mess in your life. Just lets stop, and rest, let God be God and let him hold us and heal us and comfort us. Our God is not a remote God. He is a loving Father. He is our loving Father.


My Retreat part 3: The Spiritual Stuff.

When I got to the retreat house I was a bit surprised to find that it was a silent retreat! I was a little concerned but actually it turned out to be really good. The only down-side being that there was little opportunity to talk to the other tertiary - still I think friends were made!

I went on retreat at a time of feeling very angry and not being entirely sure why. The kids were occasionally taking the brunt of it which is never right and left me feeling even worse. It was good to get away and have some space and thinking time.

During the retreat I sent a text message to a good friend Idle Pilgrim , it read 'God is loud when I is silent'. At the time of writing it was simply short hand for saying that I could really hear God when I was being quiet but as the weekend wore on it became clear that I had stumbled on the TRUTH!

As I spent time in the prescence of God I became aware of just how much I use the word 'I'. It is such a small word yet it has a great deal of power. I became increasingly aware that part of what was making me angry is the loss of my identity. As a mum I am 'mummy' and my needs, wants and desires are nearly always secondary to the needs, wants and desires of my children.

I seem to have two reactions to this fact: either I throw myself into it neglecting myself and putting them first every time - the martyr complex or I get cross and frustrated because even my most basic needs are not being met. Neither of these are healthy responses and I need to continue to work on changing them.

As a diabetic some of my needs MUST come first. If that means leaving the kids to cry and moan while I get something to eat then that has to be. When my blood sugar levels drop I get irrational and angry. If I keep my sugars balanced I am much more likely to keep my temper and emotions balanced.

Of course there are always going to be moments when the little ones stretch my patience to the limit but if I am on an even keel to begin with I am much more likely to manage even the difficult situations. There is still some head work to do on other bits of the anger problem but recognising this aspect has made me safe to be with my kids and made it possible to look at the deeper issues.

One other consequence of my retreat is that I recognise that I do have the right to have my basic needs met. I don't need to be a martyr and neglect myself. I need to look after me so hat I am healthy physically and mentally to look after those who depend on me.

'God is loud when I is silent'. It is highly appropriate at times that I stop worrying about my own needs, wants and desires and listen to the heart of God.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Princess Diana

Today is the 10th anniversary of the day when two liitle boys lost their mother. Diana died in a Paris tunnel in a car crash.

I remember how I heard the news and I remember that I cried. The tears were not so much for Diana, somehow her life had gone from a fairytale to something more bleak and turgid and now it was over. No, the tears were for those young boys who had always been so close to mum and now would have to grow up without her.

This loss echoed the loss some years earlier of my sister and brought back the memories of another two little boys who would now grow up without their mum. So I wept that morning for four little boys who lost their mothers and all that goes with that.

So here we are 10 years later and still the muck wears on. Those two little boys now grown into fine men wanted to invite their step mum, whom they love, to stand with them and their dad to support them whilre they remembered the one whom they had lost.

The press and some self proclaimed friends of Diana, however, had different ideas and brought up all the angst of the break up of the royal marriage. I would like to think that had Diana survived that crash she would have moved on by now and put the past behind her. It may be a bit of a reach to think that she and Camilla could be friends but I think she had a big enough heart to forgive and get on with her life.

I have never been a big fan of the royals but I have a soft spot fot the younger generation and since it is William and Harry that lost the most it is appropriate that we take our cue from them. They have accepted and love Camilla and wanted her to support them at an important moment.

Now because of the fuss some people have made those boys will remember the mother they lost without the support of the mother they have gained.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Explicit! If easily offended stop reading NOW!

Explicit! If easily offended stop reading NOW!
This is a poem by my good cyber friend Prodigal Aspertions on her Dead Daddy site. I love it and hate it at one and the same time. It says everything and holds no punches. You have been warned.


Some men are just mean
pleased as punch to gouge out holes
where there should be none,
at least not yet.

And yet, for some reason,
Little Princess is expected
to burp politely, behind her hand,
never let the gas escape, (Cry Rape!)
“Oh, excuse me, so sorry!”

Do not become, my dear,
so destroyed in your soul
that you will spread your legs
and point, to that spot, (Crotch Rot!)
“Ouch, it hurts me.”

Young Ladies must cross their legs
at the ankles and tuck them, (Fuck Them!)
ever-so-politely to the side
better so to hide
the oozing pain that threatens to
puddle in plain sight.

Him, if you care to convict,
we will feed and water
and send to school
and give recreation, (Abomination!)
and release, fouler than any fart,
to fuck her again by proxy.

Just because he used the same parts
that make love to your darling,
and grow children for your garden,
does not make his act sex.
Talking about what he did is not
like ending prayers with “Shit”
instead of AMEN.


The sacrilege has been done
by that dirty daughterfucker,
gentle nights sacrificed
on the altar of his prick.

So do not tell me I may not,
in polite company,
speak of rape
and incest
and pornography
and the thousand horrors visited
upon a thousand little girls (and
boys, them too,
scionfuckers making this
an equal opportunity tragedy)
don’t you dare.

I am not shutting up!

And upon the tiny vaginas
ripped open way too soon,
by the blood smeared sheets,
baptized with the tears of a thousand nights,
knife in hand if necessary,
to cut out the tongue
of anyone who dares
to silence her and her and all the hers (and
hims, I don’t forget)
I do solemnly swear
I will listen to the quiet words,
whispered into my ear,
as she faces the other way,
because she has been told
good girls don’t say those things (and
big boys don’t cry, now, Son)

So suck it up!

copyright 2006, 2007 by Cynthia Huddleston
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Hurt - the Power of Names Revisited.

I feel hurt and angry and bewildered.

I had an email from a family member saying how upset they were about my recent post 'Abigail' now retitled as 'The Power of Names'. They asked me to remove the post because as the parents of the child that died they were upset at what I had said. I guess in some way they feel that the post was about their little girl but it wasn't.

The post is about my Abigail, the future possibility of my little girl, the future possibility of a damaged life redeemed and made whole.

I had carried this Abigail since I was 20 years old. She lived in my heart as a possible, as a maybe one day. I dreamed of her and all that she represented. You see if this child ever came to be it would mean that I had reached a safe place in my life, that I would have undergone healing and transformation, that I would be well and happy and safe and whole.

This blog was (is?)bout giving voice to the voiceless. It is about documenting a journey. It was (is?) about allowing the voice that was silenced through sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse a place to speak, a space to be heard.

And now I once again feel someone reach out to silence me. Someone who does not understand the words or the need to speak. Someone whose own pain has made them unable to see what was really being said.

Hurt - the Power of Names Revisited.

I feel hurt and angry and bewildered.

I had an email from a family member saying how upset they were about my recent post 'Abigail' now retitled as 'The Power of Names'. They asked me to remove the post because as the parents of the child that died they were upset at what I had said. I guess in some way they feel that the post was about their little girl but it wasn't.

The post is about my Abigail, the future possibility of my little girl, the future possibility of a damaged life redeemed and made whole.

I had carried this Abigail since I was 20 years old. She lived in my heart as a possible, as a maybe one day. I dreamed of her and all that she represented. You see if this child ever came to be it would mean that I had reached a safe place in my life, that I would have undergone healing and transformation, that I would be well and happy and safe and whole.

This blog was (is?)bout giving voice to the voiceless. It is about documenting a journey. It was (is?) about allowing the voice that was silenced through sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse a place to speak, a space to be heard.

And now I once again feel someone reach out to silence me. Someone who does not understand the words or the need to speak. Someone whose own pain has made them unable to see what was really being said.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Magazine Article

Leader's Insight: Shepherding the Sexually Abused
How the pain of childhood abuse affects pastoral relationships.
by Maggie Watson, guest columnist

Do you recognize the following congregants?

With unwavering commitment Emily is dedicated to you—and to your vision. Readily volunteering when needed, she prays for you and regularly affirms your leadership gift. Each time you speak with her, the admiration in her eyes is evident.

Samantha, on the other hand, volunteers only when asked. She is polite and friendly but rarely makes herself available for conversation. And as a result, little is known about her.

Chloe is a tougher read. You sense that she doesn't trust you. Yet, she continues to linger after the service asking question after question, or making appointments to ask you more

Read it here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/currenttrendscolumns/leadershipweekly/cln70402.html

Monday, 23 April 2007

The Power of Names.

Recently our extended family suffered the tragic and painful loss of a beautiful little child.

This event has other resonances for me because of the name this angel carried.

Whilst we were expecting Peter we chatted to Abby’s parents about names. I mentioned that had Peter been a girl we would have named her Abigail. The name means ‘Joy of my father’ or ‘the fathers delight’. There is some discussion about the timing of this conversation but I remember the strong emotional reaction I had when I heard what their new baby was to be called.

We had a similar conversation with my sister in law at around the same time. Both of these families named their daughters ‘Abigail’ which meant that the name was forever lost to me. Though neither of these families said I couldn't use the name in the future there were pressures from elsewhere that made it obvious that this name would now be beyond my reach.

I have loved the name since it was given to a friend’s daughter many years ago. I was overwhelmed by the idea that any little girl could be so named because they were a delight to their daddy. I longed to be in a place where I could feel the joy of naming my own child by the delight in her fathers face. I was heartbroken when Ellie was born and we could no longer even consider the name for our beautiful baby girl.

I know names shouldn’t really matter so much but that name had held all the promise of a ‘Sharon’ made new and whole. Abigail's death was very recent but the tragedy of her loss also stirred up the emotional loss of my Abigail whom I had carried for many years and who died in my heart the year two beautiful Abigails entered our world and our families.

The name of Abigail had become an icon or symbol for a future that could be lived without the shadow of the past. Losing 'my Abigail' felt like losing any possibility of being free from the mire and the muck that clings so tightly that no amount of washing could ever remove it.

A Vat of Crap

I don’t know how a child survives abuse that entails everything but rape by her father and two of three brothers. I don’t know how I survived but I did but I am not whole and perhaps I never will be.

I thought all of this was over – I spent the 90’s in and out of therapy/counselling, I thought I had put it to bed, I thought it was over.

I met and married Mr Blog – probably the healthiest choice I ever made. In time we found we were expecting Peter and after some initial panics I got my head around this huge event. Then we were joined by Ellie and as time passed and I was not visited by the depressions and panics of the past, I stopped expecting them, stopped metaphorically looking over my shoulder and under the bed for the monsters that lurk there. I thought I was free.

I’m not sure what exactly it is that has triggered stuff this time round – and I am scared shitless at the depth and intensity of anger that must have been there for so long. I do know that somehow Peter manages to lift the lid on it and it is taking all my energy to prevent it spilling over on to him.

Idle Pilgrim wrote on her blog about anger strong enough to trash her dining room and I sometimes envy her for the luxury of being the only one around to be hurt by her own wrath. If I lose it like that I run the risk of damaging my husband and my children – it isn’t an option.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Mothering Sunday Exodus 2:1-10, John 19: 25-27 18th March 2007

A mother places her three month old son into a reed basket and leaves him in the river. The baby’s big sister looks on until the baby is found.

A teenage girl arrives home to find the house all locked up and nobody home. She sits shivering and worrying on the doorstep for several hours before her mother returns.

A family gather around to celebrate a happy event. Mum and dad fuss proudly around their young offspring. Everybody is happy.

A father stands at the grave of his wife. His two young sons look bewildered at the mound of freshly dug dirt.

A mother stands at the foot of a cross, watching her son die a cruel and seemingly unjust death, listening to his final words, she weeps.

So here we are, another Mothering Sunday sermon, and I wonder what it is you were expecting? I wonder what it is my mum, sitting over there, is expecting – no pressure then!

If we were to take a quick poll I think we would find as many different experiences of mother as there are people here. Some will think of their own mother, others will think about themselves as mother.

As we can see by the snap shots described at the beginning, there are many and varied experiences of this thing named ‘Mother’.

Some experiences are painful, for some of us ‘Mother’ is not a word that holds much comfort. Perhaps we grew up without our mum, or she was so into her own needs that she failed to notice ours.

Some are good experiences, a mum that always seemed to be there when we needed her, a mum that smiled and laughed with us and taught us the value of love.

And what about our experiences of being ‘Mother’?

Some long to have children but choices and circumstances and nature have conspired to render it impossible.

Some have lost children, in infancy, in adulthood or before they were even born.

Some have children but the baggage they carry from their own childhood makes being a parent so hard, sometimes too hard. And often the cycle of abuse and neglect is continued on to a new generation.

Some take to parenting like ducks to water, rising to every new challenge and loving every part of it.

And then there are the men. At this time of year it is easy to overlook the feelings and needs of men. They too have good and bad experiences of ‘mother’ in a variety of contexts but the focus seems always to be on the women and the men folk barely get a look in.

So along with all of these differing experiences come a number of different expectations.

I have been known to avoid church on Mothering Sunday, especially before Peter and Ellie, came along. I didn’t want to hear about how mums are great and how we should celebrate them. My childhood left me with some issues to deal with and for a while I didn’t feel I had anything to celebrate when it came to the relationship with my mum. Today things are very different and I don’t know what I would do without her – I even find myself wishing sometimes that we lived a lot closer to each other!

The point remains though, that some would rather avoid church on this day altogether rather than sit through a service that only highlights the pain of their situation.

As I was preparing this I was very aware of two families. One of a young woman whose mother died last week and of another where the youngest child, a girl of three, died after a sudden illness. For these families Mothering Sunday this year will have a new and painful resonance as they contemplate their losses.

So with an awareness that one persons joyous occasion maybe another persons nightmare – where do we fit in? What is our place as a church and as individuals in the bigger picture?

Lets look again at the reading from Exodus.

At first glance this could be a reading about abandonment. The mum puts her little baby son into a basket in the river and runs away. We can only guess at the emotion this mother felt as she left her baby and ran away, perhaps praying that some how everything would turn out ok.
In the extract we don’t get any of the background to this action – just that it happened.

The background is that the king had demanded that every Hebrew male newborn should be killed. He was worried that the Hebrew numbers were growing way too fast and the Egyptians had all forgotten about Joseph and what he had done for them.

So this Hebrew mum had hidden her little boy for three months before she left him in the river. She just wanted her son to have the best chance of survival. So she left him where he would be found by elite Egyptian women in the hope that one of them would take care of him.
She left Miriam, the older sister, to keep watch and make sure he was safe and in the end everything did turn out ok. Her little boy grew up to be the one to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery. A happy ending.

Moses became part of a new family and grew up healthy, happy and loved. Modern families are made up in a variety of ways, some of that variety is reflected in our congregation, and we don’t need to venture very far into the community to find more examples.

We are all part of Gods family and as such we have an obligation to support one another, love one another and to be there for one another. In the good times, in the bad times, all of the time.

Come with me for a moment, back to that cross on a lonely hill outside the city walls. Listen – Jesus is speaking to his mother and his closest friend –

Dear woman, here is your son,"

"Here is your mother."

This verse is often discussed in the context of John taking on the care of Mary as she advances in years. As the oldest son this would have been an obligation borne by Jesus. Here he passes that obligation to John.

But – this relationship is not all one sided. Jesus does not just address John; he also speaks to his mum and gives his friend into her safe-keeping.

Jesus has created a new family unit and in doing so provides for the needs of all concerned.

Not all of us have good experiences of motherhood and mothering. So who is responsible for those who didn’t have mothers, or who had bad experiences?

Who is responsible for the lost, the un-mothered?

Who is responsible for the hurting and the vulnerable?

Who is going to care for those who grieve?

Jesus gives an example, in the midst of his own pain, he reaches out to provide his best friend with a mother

He reaches out and provides his mother with someone to care for her and someone for her to take care of.

Here is a reciprocal arrangement of mutual love and support, so that everyone has somebody to look out for and somebody looking out for them.

Who is responsible? We are.

Whose job is it? It is ours.

We are all responsible for each other. We are a family and like all families we are occasionally dysfunctional, but that shouldn’t discourage us from doing all we can for each other.

But it doesn’t stop there. It isn’t enough that we take care of each other within these walls we all so need to bring God’s love to the hurting world on our doorstep and in our local community.

Listen again to the words of Jesus – is there a message for us in our situation 2000 years later?

Dear woman, here is your son,"

"Here is your mother."

St Peters – here is Radford.

Radford – here are people who will care for you.

People of St Peters, here are those amongst you, sitting next to you, who need you. Look after each other care for each other, support one another, nurture one another, love one another.

Monday, 2 April 2007

From a friend....

A woman brings a very limp duck into a veterinary surgery. As she lays the duck on the examination table the vet pulls out his stethoscope and listens to the duck's chest for signs of life.

After a few moments the vet shakes his head and turns to the womanand says sadly, "I'm sorry but the duck has passed away." The distressed owner wails, "Are you sure?""Yes of course I'm sure. The duck is dead," he replies."How can you be so sure?" she protests. "I mean you haven't done any testing - he might be in a coma or something."The vet rolls his eyes and leaves the room. He returns with a black Labrador.As the duck's owner looks in amazement, the dog stands on his hind legs, puts his front paws on the examination table and sniffs the duck from top to bottom. He then looks at the vet and with sad eyes shakes his head.The vet pats the dog on the head and takes him out and returns a few moments later with a cat. The cat jumps up on the table and also sniffs the duck from its beak to its tail at the back end and back again.The cat sits and shakes its head and meows softly, jumps down from the examination table and strolls out of the examination room.
The vet looks at the woman and says, "I am sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."The vet turns to his computer terminal and after hitting a few keys a bill is printed off, which he hands to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, takes the bill. "£450!" she cries. "£450 just to tell me my duck is dead?"
The vet shrugs. "If you had accepted my word for it, the bill would have been only £30. But with the lab report and the cat scan - it all adds up."