Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It seems as if my reminder last week was well timed, though thankfully and hopefully we will remain grateful that the currently approaching storm “Fred” is on a course that will pass us by to the north. Let us also pray that those more in its path will use their best efforts to remain safe and will also have many causes to be thankful themselves. It has got to the time of year when storms come off the West African coast towards our area like missiles from an enemy, while the later storms of the year often behave quite differently. To me, like other weather phenomena described loosely under the idea of “climate change”, this annual pattern of phenomenal behaviour suggests that the cause of it lies much more outside the Earth and its inhabitants than within it. 

As a science teacher I should like people to remember that after a long time of considering that the Earth was the centre of the solar system - or indeed the physical centre of the whole of Creation - the different theory was gleaned from many observations and measurements that the Earth herself, with her motions and other behaviours was dependant upon other objects and phenomenal conditions, rather than those being dependant upon the Earth as the centre of things. So it should be considered that ascribing the happenings on Earth, especially mankind’s activities, as a critical cause of global warming (or “climate change”) might be putting the cart before the horse. I consider that we should be considering the Earth as a whole functioning within the active environment in which it is set. Plasma physicists have long seen this environment as full of active plasma - thin though it may appear to us to be - rather than a completely inactive vacuum. It seems much more likely that the “changes” that the media are so insistent on ascribing to the activities of man, are many thousands of times more likely conveyed by the plasma environment in which the Earth turns and is propelled. Indeed, we and the other planets of our solar system all exist within the Sun's plasmasphere (whch is often called its “magnetosphere”). 

We are not an isolated island in empty space, any more than we as human beings are isolated and separated from God Himself.

The Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity is

O God, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity: Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The 15th August also is a Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, provided for in the Common Worship Lectionary. We shall keep this Sunday as the day of our Patronal Festival. The Collect for the Day is:

Almighty God, who didst look upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and didst choose her to be the mother of thy only Son: grant that we who are redeemed by his blood may share with her in the glory of thine eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

That God declares His “almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity” (see Trinity 11 Collect) is a truth that I think is revealed more to those mature in the Faith than to those who are young in the Faith. Perhaps a bit like James and John the “sons of thunder” as our Lord described them (at that stage of their discipleship), Christians young in the faith will pray that God may punish their opponents in all sorts of ways until they “submit”. But from the prophetic books of the Old Testament, the Psalms and especially from the New Testament we find disciples wrestling with the fact that most often God uses His power differently: for instance by some turn of circumstance that finally shows the “opponents” that they have been dreadfully wrong in the assumptions they have been operating under for so long. The “strong” prayer of a disciple may not prevail with God due to the feeling of the one that prays being strong. May our strong feelings be changed into the humble request that almighty God, “through Jesus Christ our Lord" may “mercifully grant unto us such a measure” of grace that in spite of all that may seem to be against us we may prevail both in obedience in all things now and in partaking of the “heavenly treasure” eternally. 

Indeed the Blessed Virgin Mary herself can provide for us the example of mature faith, from her young age notwithstanding.

For directions about the services this Sunday the 15th August, the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity, please see the website  . 

In reliance upon the mighty power of the Triune God to keep us faithful to and in all truth, I am in your service 

Bishop Nicholas