Action Zones 

From the Rectory September 2022

SIMON WARD 12-2018Dr Davies and I spent a fascinating and merry hour pondering registers in the Minster vestry. There were entries dating back to the late 1800s detailing the various hatching, matching and dispatching activities of our parish; many names lost now in the mists of time. Even without delving too deeply there were names I recognised and people I know as recorded data, some quite beautifully scribed, took on a new level of familiarity and story. I do try and remind myself as I hurriedly fill in a register that there’s a chance someone may read this in years to come and may be glad if the Rector took a little more time to remember his primary school handwriting instructions
 
Many of the various registers are still in very good condition and have been well cared for; stored sensibly, and handled with care. Others seemed to have taken a right battering (possible food or water damage) or have been coarsely handled. A number of these registers will be destined for the Norfolk Records Office where they will be logged, stored, and cared for into the future. The NRO is a fascinating place to visit where you can see how much care is taken to look after records and preserve them for future generations. I was amazed by the painstaking skill shown by staff when I visited a few years ago and I watched as they brushed and treated each page of the register they were working on. I recall one of the staff showing me work on a repaired parish register which had decayed when buried for a couple of years during WW2 because the incumbent was worried they may fall into enemy hands!
 
We have an obligation to look after all that we inherit from the past whether it is centuries old silver or registers from the last century. All of these items are part of our story and can reveal something to us. It’s all about caring for the past and by doing so; hopefully people will be able to understand more about us and our times. That said, we can’t hold on to everything forever and there are the things we can’t hold on to and must say goodbye: all of us probably hold on to too much! Churches seem especially good at this
 
As a church we leave a legacy behind for the future. It’s a legacy of more than registers or silverware. It’s a story which is not always spotted in register statistics. The characteristics which grow us as individuals and collectively as a church are all about the love and joy and peace which are the marks of authentic Christian life. These are the signs which show and tell of lives and people transformed and draw others to participate in the ongoing story
 
With thanks and gratitude for all the stories we share and create together,
With Blessings                       

Fr Simon
Rev Canon Simon Ward
Team Rector, Great Yarmouth Parish

 

this article courtesy of Parish Life

 



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