Sabbath Reflections

The ‘squeeze stile’ is a type of stone stile characteristic of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds (you can find out more about efforts to preserve them HERE). When I have taken groups of young people out walking in the local fields there are always those who try to go through the squeeze stile without removing their backpack and then there are those who remove their backpack, walk through and have their bag passed on to them. I will leave you to reflect on which group is more successful!

The writer, farmer and environmentalist Wendell Berry wrote a series of Sabbath poems which are beautiful points of entry into the rhythm of rest and re-collection that a Sabbath prompts. In Sabbath V, 1987 Berry describes moving into the Sabbath as like entering a woodland for which the entry point is narrow. In the poem he asks…

Why must the gate be narrow?

Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.

To come in among these trees you must leave behind

the six days’ world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes.

You must come without weapon or tool, alone,

expecting nothing, remembering nothing,

into the ease of sight, the brotherhood [and sisterhood] of eye and leaf.


The Sabbath is a reminder that it is not how much we can carry that is the measure of our life but how much we can let go. In Sabbath we find ourselves ‘standing in the shadow of the mercy of light’. The shadow allows us to unburden ourselves, to find a cooling breeze, in the knowledge that there is a  light that will sustain us once we venture back out of the trees.


We were thinking about how to honour and celebrate ‘Sabbath’ in the Rhythm of Life small group on Monday evening. In future weeks we will consider prayer, scripture and more. (Please join us on future Mondays; get in contact on [email protected] for details of where and when)

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Communion during this time

In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.

For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.

We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.

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