Rector’s Letter, June 2024

The month of May saw two connected events: one local and one worldwide. The first was the Young Person’s Art Show in St Mary’s church. The second was Pentecost Sunday, (otherwise known as Whitsun).

Pentecost – remembering the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first disciples – is associated with many Christian ideas, above all else God and God’s love working in our own lives and inspiring us. And creativity is behind artwork and behind art is inspiration – which is why the church, when it is working well, has always been a patron of the arts. (When it is not working well, it supresses art and creativity – a very good book and film on that theme is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco).

The best-known poem I know about God’s creativity and Pentecost is by my old favourite – RS Thomas. It is difficult, but I think it is reflecting on the way suddenly, when we feel dry and withered, something starts humming and off we go. I also like it (and indeed the poet himself) because he often refers to “the machine” referring to modern technology in negative terms – I too think so much modern technology can be stifling and yet he writes three lines from the bottom as he does – reminding me I too might on occasion be guilty of supressing creativity!


Suddenly after long silence

he has become voluble.

He addresses me from a myriad

directions with the fluency

of water, the articulateness

of green leaves; and in the genes,

too, the components

of my existence. The rock,

so long speechless, is the library

of his poetry. He sings to me

in the chain-saw, writes

with the surgeon’s hand

on the skin’s parchment messages

of healing. The weather

is his mind’s turbine

driving the earth’s bulk round

and around on its remedial

journey. I have no need

to despair; as at

some second Pentecost

of a Gentile, I listen to the things

round me: weeds, stones, instruments,

the machine itself, all

speaking to me in the vernacular

of the purposes of One who is.

All of which takes me back to our Art Show. As I write, it is not yet set up: but I have seen at least some of the artwork at our Primary school – and there is much evidence of creativity. May God’s Spirit of love work in all our lives, may we be addressed from a “myriad of directions” and find that inspiration in the beauty, the people, the goodness and the love which is all around us.


1662 Holy Communion @ St Mary's Slindon
Jun 26 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
United Benefice Communion @ St Margaret's Eartham
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Holy Communion @ St Margaret's Eartham
Jul 7 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Matins @ St Mary's Slindon
Jul 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Holy Communion @ St Mary Magdalene Madehurst
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am