Lockdown 2

You won’t need me to tell you that we are going into lockdown again! Just 2 weeks before the start of the 5 Cathedrals Walk and I can’t leave home for a month, at least. Well, that’s the way it is and am I downhearted? No! Adapt and find something better is my motto – not a very snappy motto, but it works for me. So, the walk is now rescheduled for Lent 2021 when, hopefully, Covid will be on the decline and life is moving on again.

Meanwhile back at the church we will be open twice a week for private prayer and what better place can you think of for that!

Behind the scenes a lot of change is going on in the Totton Team churches, a reorganisation of the parish and retirements and recruitments among the clergy. Our Rector, Chris Steed, retired on 31st October. He will be sorely missed. As this poem relates:

Verses on the Sad Departure of the Revd. Chris Steed

We say farewell to our Rector today
and I have been told to have something to say;
something nice, not a sermon or boring report,
but witty they said, and just keep it short.
Keep it decent and warm, but pithy and fun
so we won’t be all cringing when you are done.

They gave me a list of what to avoid –
Don’t talk of Archdeacons or you’ll get him annoyed,
and mention of Bishops will cause a right mess
unless you’re referring to smart moves in chess.
Don’t speak of his habits, like being er.. sometimes late,
held up in Totton by the crossing gate,
and never describe him, for heaven’s sake
as a scoffer of biscuits, cream teas and cake!

No, that would be wrong. So I won’t, never fear,
but I’ll tell you instead why we hold him so dear,
this Reverend, this Doctor, for that is his status
where he floats in his learned cumulostratus,
for that’s not the man we see here on Sundays,
holding the gospel, glowing with praise
for the Lord God our Father. He speaks from the heart,
from knowledge, experience, each sermon is art.
In his voice, in his eyes, his faith is implicit
and complete with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

And his sermons are short. For which we are grateful.
Yes, he deserves cake, ladies, give him a plateful.

So, keeping it short, just as I’ve been told to –
I speak for St Mary’s – and now I give you
As I draw to a close, make this sad farewell end,
The Reverend Chris Steed, our priest and our friend.

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