St Lawrence Church
Stratford sub Castle

Churchwardens:      John Walsh Tel: 07913 867109
Sue Thomson Tel: 01722 782340

Vicar's letter

2024 July      Letter from our Priest

Dear Friends,

There seems to be several topics that are quietly acknowledged as ‘taboo’ in conversation – those things we avoid because they are deemed impolite or just a ‘no-go-area’ telling ourselves it is because other find the difficult when the reality is the very fact we don’t talk about them make them difficult.  The subject of death is one of them.

As part of my daily routine, I read the bible (shocking I know!) and am reading part of the Old Testament (a book called Joshua).  He has been quite an incredible leader – strong in character, true, faithful and a good role model.  He has lived life well and blessed many but at the part I now find myself, he is preparing for the end of his life.  He is concerned for those around them.  He prepares them for what is to come, putting plans in place (and most probably is preparing himself in the process).  It has got me thinking.  Why as a society do we find it so difficult to acknowledge this part of living, it comes to us all in the end after all.  We are arguably getting better if the TV advertising is anything to go by, as we watch adverts selling us the ideas of bequests, wills and cremations but the subject remains difficult and is often only talked about when imminent (and even then, not always). Perhaps one of the reasons may be, that we don’t want to think about the end… is because we are unsure what there is beyond. 

My job is one of privilege – one of the greatest honours is to be alongside the bereaved.  It is in the time after death (often in shock) that the discussions then begin about how to honour the person that was… and thoughts drift into what their wishes may have been and some of the bigger questions of life begin to bubble to the surface.  It can be especially difficult if there is no faith in what is to come or no instructions for loved ones are left (and things simply haven’t been talked about).  When we have faith in something bigger, something beyond, conversations are much easier, but regardless of opinions or beliefs this topic is good to tackle.

There is something empowering about owning what will happen, preparing others, sharing thoughts and wishes.  About not putting off until tomorrow what can be done today.  So, if you’ve not thought about your wishes at the end of your life (no matter how old you may be), why not spend a little time thinking it over… leave your thoughts and wishes somewhere safe and make sure your loved ones know where they are.  (Then go and live life well, leaving a legacy of truth, love, service and honour in the world…).

Rev. Suzie

NB Should you appreciate a listening ear as you ponder on this or any other significant issue on your mind, please know I and my colleagues are always here for you and happy to help, and if you want to consider what the Christian belief is of death, again, do get in touch!







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