I woke this morning to the news that Stephen Hawkins had died. His name recognisable to so many because he was an ambassador for science, a renowned physicist and a truly inspirational man. A man who faced many personal challenges throughout his life. Having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1964 and told he had only a couple of years to live, went on to defy all predictions, living until he was 76 years old. A man whose only form of communication, for the majority of that time, was through a voice synthesiser. His determination, courage and persistence inspired people across the world. Although every day was, for him, a tremendous challenge, through his disability he was able to achieve so much in the advancement of science.
For us all life is full of challenges, some so big they often seem insurmountable others less so. Last week for many was a week of challenge brought about by the severe weather conditions, for some the challenge was to keep warm, for others it was to get to work each day, for others to get to the shop to buy provisions and yet for others the challenge was to stay within their own four walls when they so like to get out and about and meet up with other people.
I have recently enjoyed watching both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, each event offering their own set of challenges to the athletics taking part. How Lizzy Yarnold manages to hurtle down the ice, on what looks to me as no more than a tin tray, at speeds of around 85mph is beyond my comprehension - what a challenge! I can only admire the courage of the Paralympians when I think of the challenges they are faced with every day. How many of them have picked themselves up after personal injury and personally challenged themselves to compete in such a variety of sports is amazing.
Life springs many challenges on us, often when we least expect them. Some are life changing whilst others in comparison are just small ‘blips’. Some are personal whilst others are related to work or challenges about the world in which we live. I spoke in my letter in the February edition of SEKAM about the challenges that I face trying to keep the church in this place here, not only for the people of today, but for future generations. Primarily I voiced the running cost per week needed to keep the church open and running. However there is also the challenge of keeping both the church building and churchyard as beautiful as is humanly possible, this takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. I receive letters and emails about the state of the church and yard, most are complimentary whilst a few are more challenging in their content. All I can say is that much love and hard work goes into the maintenance and I’ve had to learn that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. In regard to our beautiful church I believe that the biggest challenge isfor people to realise that it is not just a building to be loved and cherished but more importantly it is a living and breathing community of Christian people which offers God’s love to everyone.
The Rector, Reverend Sarah Corry, can be contacted on 01474 852265, or use our contact form.
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