Rector's Letter - September 2001

 My Dear Friends,

 Let me take you on an imaginary journey through time.  The setting is our great almost cathedral-like Church here at Astbury.  Imagine that the whole span of created time could be fitted into the Church building, beginning at the West doors with the moment of creation some 15 Billion years ago.

 As you enter Church you would witness the very moment when the Universe came into being, the event Cosmologists call the Big Bang.  History begins here.  Before this was nothing, not even Time and Space existed.  Walking through the main body of the Church you would witness the birth of stars and galaxies, but it would not be until you reach the Chancel Screen at the end of the Nave that you would see the Earth begin to form.  The walk of a Bride on her wedding day would still not bring her to the beginning of our planet's history.

 Continuing up the steps and into the Chancel, simple life forms would emerge about half way through the Choir.  But you would have to go up another set of steps into the Sanctuary and stand at the Altar unable to walk any further before you could witness the beginnings of Vertebrate life forms such as primitive fish and reptiles.

 The great Age of the Dinosaurs would have flourished where our Altar flowers stand.  And if you could lean across to the far side of the Altar and look very very closely indeed, the 2000 year old Astbury Millennium Yew would make its appearance less than half the width of a human hair away from the East wall.

 Consider now the fact that the Astbury Yew in its microscopically brief life span has seen the passing of 80 generations…

 Human Life is so very short.  On the scale of things, it barely registers its presence.  Wouldn't it be a terrible waste to spend your life going the wrong way? And an act of untold arrogance to ignore the directions of the Creator?  Perhaps with this in mind we would do well to share in the humble prayer of the Psalmist:

"I am a sojourner and stranger upon this earth O Lord;

hide not thy commandments from me!"  (Psalm 119 v19)

                    Jeff Cuttell.

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