Gary's Pastoral Letter for March
Debbie and I have just been watching the quiz show Eggheads on television tonight. I have to confess I am always a little pleased to see the experts defeated from time to time. Interestingly, there was a question tonight which resonated with us, and we didn’t need to consider the usual three options. The question was to do with a part of Cornwall where we used to live, right in the south east corner near the Devon border. The question asked was simply about the name which was given to that particular area. Of the three choices that came up we knew straight away that it was known as “Cornwall’s forgotten corner.” I have a book on my bookshelf by a local author and historian, Tony Crane” which carries the same title. It is an unusual title for a book, but it has something to say to us.
Why should such a picturesque part of the British Isles be known as a forgotten corner? Well it was forgotten in an historical sense because it was once part of Devon. It was forgotten too in a modern sense because of its geographical position, which escapes the thousands of visitors who daily travel across the Tamar Bridge to make their way to the better known parts of the county where most of the tourists gather. We will always have very fond memories of a place, which for the most part was non-commercialized, a haven for those who enjoy the more quiet leisure pursuits of the countryside, rambling, bird watching, sea-angling, or a Cornish cream tea in one of the quaint tea rooms found in Cawsand and Kingsand. As far as I am aware, the area has still escaped the hand of the modern developer and continues to retain much of its original charm.
Picking up on the name attributed to the area reminds me, on a more sombre note, that there are many people today who feel that they are living in some forgotten corner. They may not be on the other side of the world, but simply in the village or on the street in which they live. It’s been interesting to see how the problem of loneliness has been highlighted on the national news in recent weeks. It is often accompanied by a sense of isolation, sadness and even deep depression.
When I look at the gospels it always strikes me how Jesus noticed the person other people seemed to be ignoring. Frequently, in the jostle of the crowd, He would ask, who touched me. He would hear the voice of the one whom everyone else was trying to keep quiet. He would see the man up the tree who nobody gave a second glace towards, or the widow who unassumingly dropped the few coins she could ill afford into the offertory plate. If Jesus walked into our church I’m sure it would be the person sat alone in a corner whom He would first notice and head towards. My prayer is simple, that we may always be such a caring fellowship that we are always on the lookout for those who may feel forgotten. Remember, we all need to know we are valued