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Parish News

Reverend Eloise Everrett

1 March

It is a part of my ministry to go out and form bonds with everyone in the community as far as I can and they will let me. And in some cases I am able to form very intimate bonds with people and in others not so, but I always try.

And when I do I am struck by how different people are and how they often take different views in understanding how we should live and that is why God is so important. Because God can answer some of the questions which will show those that are right how they have been right and help those who are not right to be right.

For instance, there was a lady knocking on the vicarage door with a petition to sign about tidiness in Tilebury and I spoke to her. Unfortunately, I had a friend with me at the vicarage and I needed to be inside to help the friend who was looking at a problem I have with mice and this lady who was worried about tidiness wanted to tell me all about her petition which was taking up time.

So I reminded her gently that in the Bible there was no reference to petitions and that consequently I don't think the bishop encourages us to sign them. And anyway it might be taking sides so you have to be careful if you want to be intimate with as many people as possible not to be seen to be taking sides.

Well then, I was able to encourage the lady that God did believe in tidiness or at least cleanliness - except that that isn't in the bible either as far as I know - so I did sign the petition after all to get rid of her.

But then I felt bad because when I had thought about it God has told us the answer. In fact it is clear to me that if God thought tidiness was very important then He would have mentioned it - I myself have never been very tidy and I think the Bishop is also rather disorganised when he doesn't have a cleaner. But on the other hand God has told us that patience is a virtue, and in fact I was not very patient.

So in signing the petition I was probably wrong. And now I have a chance to be humble (another virtue) by admitting it. I should have invited the lady in and offered her some of my left over fairy cakes.

Perhaps next time you have a disagreement with someone you could look the answer up in the bible rather than on wikipedia to see whether God has already given His view.

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