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Viewpoint from Revd Canon Nick Garrard 23/02/2018

NICK GARRARDRevd Canon Nick Garrard
The Rectory, 23 The Street, South Walsham, NR13 6DQ
Nick is Rector of the Broadside Benefice (Ranworth with Panxworth, South Walsham and Upton and Fishley, Woodbastwick)


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


The first time I walked into a motorway service area I bought an LP. It felt exciting. This was in the 1970s, when motorways were quieter and Granada Services seemed sophisticated. We were travelling to Cornwall from Essex for a summer holiday. I managed to spend a fair chunk of my holiday money in the Granada shop. They sold music albums and I found a compilation of the latest hits called ‘Parade of Pops’ that cost no more than three or four singles. It sat on my lap all the way to Cornwall and I looked forward to playing it
dove leftThe only snag was we were heading for a caravan site. In those days you needed to bring a spare car battery to power an electric light. There were no record players on the site, so my pleasure was delayed by a fortnight. Excitement continued to build. Within minutes of arriving home, I went into the sitting room, put it on the record player and listened. I heard a Terry Jacks song performed by someone trying to sound like Terry Jacks. I tried another track. Mud was nowhere to be seen in their hit song ‘Rocket’.  Instead of the sound I’d imagined for weeks I listened to unknown session musicians. My brother laughed. I felt like the stupidest twelve-year-old in the world. Oddly, I still own ‘Parade of Pops’. I have never listened to the B side and probably never will
Dove rightMy memorable but trivial experience of hope followed by disappointment was even truer for Jesus’ disciples. They followed him around, teaching, healing, and drawing crowds. Then they saw his humiliation and death just outside Jerusalem. Luke 24 tells how two of them fled the city two days after his crucifixion, only to be joined unawares by the risen Christ. They pour out their grief and disillusionment to this mysterious stranger, who gently teaches them why he had to die and rise again, before vanishing. Suddenly they realise who he is, and rush back to tell everyone. Jesus still meets people heading in the wrong direction and gently turns their life around. He’s turned me around at times. Maybe it’s happened to you too
Between now and April 21st we will travel with Jesus and his companions from triumph to despair and finally glory. Like the boy I was travelling home with an LP on his lap, I look forward to hearing this story unfold in church. I may be inspired, bewildered, or bored as I go, but I know the journey will not end in disappointment


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