Rector's Letter - Feb 2002

 My Dear Friends,

 As I write this letter I'm lying flat on my back in a Hospital Bed in Andorra.  I have minor internal injuries, a crushed 11th Thoracic Vertebrae and a wedge fracture to my 12th.  The moral of the story is that in a high-speed collision between a skier and a telegraph pole, the skier is very likely to come off worse!

 I was delighted to see that there was a Sunday Mass in the Hospital Chapel.  I had a lot to pray about.  I asked a nurse if I might be able to attend the celebration.  "Oh no" she replied, "we can't possibly take you on a stretcher!"  Well maybe its me, but I would have thought that a Hospital Chapel, of all places, should be able to cope with a stretcher.

 It made me think of our Church at Astbury.  If one thing comes out of me breaking my back, I hope it will be that we pay prompt attention to proper disabled access to the Church.  How to get a ramp of suitably gentle gradient all the way up to Church door level will be a planning and a financial headache.  But it's one we must address.

 I've thought about the story of the man in the Bible who came to Jesus on a stretcher.  Who made it possible for him?  His friends.  They had to push and shove and even remove a few roof tiles along the way so that their friend could meet Jesus.

 When I couldn't go to Church in Andorra I may have felt rejected by the Church there, but I didn't feel rejected by God because I knew that there were friends back in the UK who by their prayers carried me into the healing presence of God.

 My thoughts now turn to people without determined or prayerful friends.  When they find going to Church impossible, it won't be the Church they blame, it will be God.  I don't think that's good enough, do you?  Let's do something about it.

 See you all soon,

 Yours horizontally!

 Jeff Cuttell.

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