‘Succession’ is a hugely popular television series and in the news of late with the departure from the series of Logan Roy, played by the great Scottish actor, Brian Cox. However, succession at parish level is impacting in a different way. Succession means being replaced with a plan. The dictionary tells us the literal meaning of the word – “a number of similar events or people that happen, exist etc., after each other.” This implies a natural course of events. Sadly, Covid, and changing times generally, tell us that it is not quite as easy as that. Numerous activities in the parish such as the Wednesday Lunch Club, Memory Café, Childen’s Liturgy, all struggle with succession – ie. there isn’t a natural replacement for roles of volunteers able to commit. I am appealing again for volunteers in every sector of parish life. I am also hoping that we can soon return to Communion under both kinds, and this will need the return of more Ministers and new volunteers. Leaders of Communion Services will also need more volunteers to ensure that we don’t lose sight of roles firmly embedded in our parish life before Covid. I would appeal to present volunteers to assist with Succession. Thanks again. We had a warm and joyous celebration of the lives of those deceased relatives and friends last Saturday. Stories shared amidst laughter and tears over tea and cake afterwards was a joy. All facilitated by our Bereavement Group, who regularly offer support to those who are grieving. A special thank you to them.
To be of Use by Marge Piercy
The people I love the best jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like
half-submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves,
an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo,
with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck
to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again
and again. I want to be with people who submerge in the task,
who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass
the bags along, who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands,
crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies,
clean and evident. Greek amphoras for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn,
are put in museums but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.
Marge Piercy, “To be of Use” from Circles on the Water