Rector's Letter - June 2001

My Dear Friends,

 Roald Dahl is best known for his children's stories such as James and the Giant Peach and of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  But when they were young my own children loved his books as much for the pictures as the stories.  Somehow, in quite simple line drawings, he caught the souls of his characters.

 He once wrote: "No one who is truly good can ever be truly ugly, and no-one who is truly evil can ever be truly beautiful".  So in the world of Roald Dahl a hero can be a Giant of terrifying proportions and covered in warts, but kindness and warmth will still be seen in his face.  A wicked Witch might be young and beautiful, but the cruelty of her smile displays the distortion of her soul.  His principle is simple - ultimately, what is on the inside can be seen.

 The truest source of beauty or ugliness is our character.  This is a beauty that emerges from the soul, and rises above mere plainness or even disfigurement.  And a marred personality can't hide beneath the surface of perfect skin.

 So often these days we are tempted to judge people by superficial appearance.  In this General Election Campaign even our politicians have been analysed on their hair-do or their dress sense.  If the Great British public did cast their votes on this basis, then I can only say we would probably get the politicians we deserved!

 But I don't believe we will.  And certainly, God will never judge us by our superficial appearance.  He will however look for the outward signs of our inner character.  And despite the best efforts of spin-doctors and makeover merchants, in this election campaign as in the rest of life, we must too.

             Jeff Cuttell.

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