After ten months of exile in Denmead (not a bad place to be exiled to), Jacqui and I have finally moved back. Except that we haven’t. As many will know, in January, I was licensed as Priest-in-Charge of Purbrook, and instead of moving back into our old home at Portsdown Vicarage, we are now living in Purbrook Vicarage.
Academic studies have apparently disproved the long-held maxim that moving to a new house is one of the more stressful life events. The Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, which is a list of major stressors in life, doesn’t even mention it. At the moment, I have to say that I disagree.
We may not have moved very far, but the move was complicated by having to move from both our temporary home and from Portsdown Vicarage. Fortunately, the move went very smoothly and the removal company was excellent. If you’re moving house soon, I will be happy to recommend them.
But now, one week after moving, I’m still surrounded by boxes, there are no curtains up (except in one bedroom, for the sake of the neighbours), and work piling up. Whatever Messrs Holmes and Rahe may say, it certainly feels stressful. Until, that is, I stop and reflect. How blessed I am to have a comfortable house to live in and how blessed I am to have so many belongings that I can’t find them all. There are many around the world who have neither.
It also causes me to stop and consider: where is my security? In Psalm 62, David acknowledges that his security comes not from his position as king or from his wealth or power, but from God. He writes these words:
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
We are living through turbulent times in our country. We don’t know what form the exit from the EU will take (assuming that it goes ahead) or what the effects of that will be. If our security is purely economic, then we have good reason to be worried. But if, like David, we find our security in the unchanging God, then we can be at peace.
It is also important to pray for our political leaders. The Archbishop of Canterbury said recently, “When I pray for Theresa May and for all of our politicians, which I do every day … [I pray for] wisdom, courage and strength for them and their families, and for them internally, their psychology, their sense of wellbeing … We entrust them with more responsibility than any of us could cope with.”
I encourage you to join him in those prayers and place your trust in the unchanging God.
Revd. Andy Wilson
You may have noticed a new postbox on the front of the church hall. This is now the main point of delivery for post to Christ Church and Christ Church Hall. Royal Mail have allocated us the following address:
Christ Church Portsdown
The phone number to contact the Vicar or Hall Manager is now 02392 267261.