At the time of writing I am beginning to think about and plan for our holiday in a few weeks time. Hopefully most of you have managed a break of some kind over the summer months.
One of the things that I love about holidays is having the opportunity to walk along the beach and look at the hundreds of different types of shells washed up along the shore line. I especially love seeing starfish as they always act as a very powerful reminder for me of the privilege I had a few years ago of being on placement at Helen and Douglas House in Oxfordshire. Helen House was the first Children’s Hospice set up in this country and provides respite care for the families of children with life limiting conditions. Douglas House was set up a few years later and catered for young adults with life limiting conditions, although I understand sadly that they have now had to close Douglas House due to lack of funding. The starfish was the symbol for Douglas House and comes from a story told to a nun who was instrumental in setting up both houses. Two men were walking along a beach, where hundreds of starfish had been washed up along the shore, as they did so, every so often the younger man would bend down, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the sea. After a while the older man got very irritated by this and said , ‘Why do you bother, there are hundreds washed up on this beach and in the midday sun, they will all die, what difference can it possibly make?’ The young man looked down at the starfish in his hand and said ‘It will make a difference to this one’.
As we enter into a new season of our lives, when many are starting new schools or colleges or universities or new jobs, my prayer for each of us is that we will celebrate the gift of life we have been given and look for ways in which we too can make a difference to the world in which we live.
With my love and prayers,
Rev Lynn Money
A letter from the Rector