I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to lose everything, home, job, possessions friends, and neighbours in one major disaster. But that is the plight of hundreds, if not thousands in the Southern States of America. When such disasters happen it is not uncommon for people to ask Where is God in all this? as though God is some sort of magic wand that could make it all go away or, better still, prevent it in the first place. If God is some sort of insurance policy that could automatically protect believers from disaster there is no doubt that everyone would become a believer! But the strength that comes from faith in God is the knowledge that no matter what life might throw at you, God is there in the suffering giving each individual the courage and the purpose to go on.
What has been surprising is that in one of the richest countries in the world with all of its resources no unifying, purposeful leadership seems to have been forthcoming in the two weeks since the disaster. The images we see on the television give the impression of a piecemeal process with no one leader taking command of all of the threads of the rescue, and rebuilding, process. The apparent lack of urgency in dealing with the dead and treating them with dignity beggars belief. The future of the City of New Orleans is uncertain and it will take many months before some sort of normality returns to the area. What is certain is that the people of the area will need our prayers not only now, but also in the weeks and months to come.
Revd. Ken Tombs (Hon. Curate)
BLESSING OF ST JOHN'S CHAPEL IN ST GILES' CHURCH
For almost a year now St John's Chapel, in the Church, has been undergoing renovation work made necessary by flooding from a leaking water pipe. The paint, and some very bad plaster, was removed and under diocese architect recommendations, and Bishop Pete's good offices, the area was finally re-plastered and painted. The overwhelming bulk of the work has been done in house and our very grateful thanks go to Martin Francis and David Millen for their tireless effort over such a long period of time. The Revd. Adrian Guthrie blessed the Chapel during the 9.45 a.m. service on Sunday 25th September. Visitors will have noticed, also, the renovated flagpole plinth.
VILLAGE POST OFFICE
Despite pressing very hard to obtain an early October opening date, proprietor Manjit Dhillon has been frustrated by the lateness of contractors to undertake the requisite counter conversion work in Mace Convenience Express. All the necessary hurdles have been overcome, but it looks likely that there will be a 7th November opening date rather than the originally hoped for 3rd October.
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles' Church Hall, 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors. The next meeting is Monday 17th October (also Monday 21st November). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970), if you would like to talk to someone first.
ICKENHAM GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME exists to serve the whole of Ickenham. We're here to assist in an emergency. If you need help, the daytime contact numbers are: 01895 633020 or 01895 235061.