[Image by jcomp on Freepik]

A wiser person than me once said “we hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

I was vividly reminded on Easter day as I gazed upon the exquisite flower arrangements in church that within the tapestry of our church community, there are threads of dedication and service that often go unnoticed, yet they form the very fabric of our fellowship. Not just in terms of the beautiful flowers we enjoy in church but the myriad of countless other tasks that contribute to the life of our church both seen and unseen it is important to me to be able to pause and reflect on the invaluable contributions of all.

At the heart of every religious community are those who devote their time and energy to various tasks, often behind the scenes. Whether it’s the fact that our church building is kept clean, tidy and safe, that the brass and silverware is polished, that we can enjoy tea and coffee after the service, or our sides men and women who greet people and ensure that everyone is made to feel welcome, their collective efforts are the cornerstone of our worship of God.

We should not forget that there is our wonderful parish magazine, our church website, the maintenance of our churchyard and church hall, the church accounts, the fact that the church clock is wound and working order. For our young people who help as Altar servers and for those who prepare rotas. Driven by a sense of faith and community spirit, the efforts of those who make such things possible embody the teachings of compassion and service that lie at the core of our faith.

Then there are our organists and choir members, whose talents elevate our worship through music. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to attend an Evensong service will appreciate the dedication to mastering their craft, their willingness to share their gifts stir our hearts and lift our spirits. It was Hans Christian Andersen who wrote “Where words fail, music speaks”.

In a world often marked by division and discord, the sense of unity and belonging within our church community is for me a beacon of hope and positivity. That hope is built on the foundation of gratitude and appreciation for those who selflessly give their time and talents to serve others. So I would take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to those unsung heroes who embody the spirit of service and compassion, enriching our spiritual journey and strengthening the bonds of fellowship within our church family.

At its core, my thanks for people who help at church is not just about acknowledging their actions; it’s about recognising the profound impact of their service on the church and all who find fellowship there. Their contributions may be humble, but their significance is immeasurable, shaping the very essence of community and nurturing the seeds of faith and fellowship for all of us.

So it is with great joy in my heart that I am able to express my gratitude and say “thank you”

Richard