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News from the Vicarage - September 2016

Dear Friends,

24Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one. 26So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; 27but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others / myself should not be disqualified. 1 Cor 9.24-end

We have had quite a remarkable and amazing summer. First of all was the Brexit vote to leave the European Union. This was quite unexpected by many. The many dire predictions seem to have been false or as yet do not to have seem to have materialized. We will have to wait some time to find out the true consequences of such a decision. Then there was the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister and the appointment of Teresa May and a new government after some internal shenanigans. Then there has been the turmoil in the Labour Party with most Labour MPs refusing to back Jeremy Corbyn their leader and a leadership contest underway. The face of politics changes very rapidly. And Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton in the US Presidential elections, where many Republicans and Democrats don't want either of their nominated representatives.

And so on to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. What a fantastic spectacle that has proved to be, with Team GB winning so many medals, two more than the very successful London Olympics 2012. I just could not believe how well we had done, coming second to USA, and beating China in the medals table. And so many unexpected golds as well as silver and bronze. From rowing, cycling, sailing and swimming to triathlon, gymnastics and show jumping. What a great treat it all was. Above all Usain Bolt winning the triple-treble and Mo Farrer wining the double-double.

But all this was not achieved without a great deal of commitment and training. Committing the whole of your life for four years, training every day, often missing your family. It was a huge effort which has paid off. But the same could be said for much of life. I think of all the young people who have just received their GCSE and A Level results, the prize of much hard work and effort.

S Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9.24 that we too are in a race. Not for an earthly prize that will perish, but in the race for eternal life. So just as an athlete trains for a race so we too as Christians need to train for eternal life.

My prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar