Rectors Newsletter : June 1995

Dear Friends

No wonder so much has been written on the subject of the British weather!  For two weeks we shed clothes like Autumn leaves, we could have been on a Greek island in high summer, and then overnight it was back to wooly jumpers and hoping the to tomato plants would be safe from frost in the greenhouse.  It’s enough to make one weep!  Still I suppose living here does have other compensations although sometimes I feel I would swap them for a bit of consistent weather.  Still, we did do well for the Hunter Trials, and it was good to see so many people in Grimsthorpe Park enjoying themselves.  The organisation was terrific as was the state of the course.  The event was a great credit to all who worked so hard on it and I would like to express my thanks on behalf of the four churches to them all.

The month of June (1995) brings us two events thet we really could use good weather for, these fall on the last two weekends of the month.   On Sunday 18 June (1995) e have the annual Little Bytham Garden Fete at the Old Rectory, our thanks go to Mr and Mrs Thompson who once again have undertaken to host it.  There are many attractions at this event, see local posters for details.  Then we have Castle Bytham Summer Fair with its street market and other attractions, again please see posters for details.  This has a new committee this year under Mike Tarling and I would like to express thanks to them and wish them luck.  There is also (as I mention on the next page) the Music In Quiet Places concert in Castle Bytham Church on 29 June (1995).  The only sad note this year concerns the Careby Barn Dance and Barbecue which has had to be cancelled because the barn failed to meet the fire inspectors demands.

There are both pros and cons to living as far south in Lincolnshire as Castle Bytham.  On the plus side is definately the distance we are away from Lincoln, it keeps me well clear of diocesan politics and gives me a ready excuse not to attend meetings at the Cathedral which, with so many clergy present, are bound to be boring!  Mind you, I do occasionaly like a day in Lincoln but I like to have it on my own terms.  I had such a day a few weeks ago, I went up to collect candles etc. for our churches and the weather was kind.

I always enjoy a wander around the Cathedral and I took the opportunity to do so on this occassion.  There is much to admire, not least the building itself, I always wonder how the people of so long ago managed to build it.  Then there are things which annoy me, what today we would call wanton destruction, Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell have a lot to answer for.  ‘Enthusiasm in religion is a terrible thing’ wrote Bishop Butler of Durham in the early years of the 18th Century.  He of course was referring to the rise of the Methodist Movement under John Wesley but his words are most applicable in this context.  Such destruction was carried out in the name of God in the belief that such art and decoration corrupted the soul.  My personal belief is that Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, is much nearer the truth.  Returning home from a meeting with the Roman Church he found his deputy had removed the crucifix from over the pulpit because he considered it a sign of Popery.  Luther turned to him, ‘How dare any man remove that by which another finds his way to God’ he demanded.  Amen to that!

But the desecration caused by Henry and Oliver are as nothing in my book to that caused by a so called modern sculptor who has erected a bronze monstrosity over the tomb of St Hugh.  Above it stands the famous Lincoln Imp whose expression says it all; ‘why oh why can’t mankind leave well alone?’

The Rev. B J Bennett
Castle Bytham Rectory

Added : 09/12/11 : MG

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