Weekly message – Sunday 12 July

Dear friends,

Rosemary Richter

At this time of year we would normally be watching at least the highlights of Today at Wimbledon if at all possible. Having lived in Wimbledon in the 1990s we have always enjoyed the atmosphere – the queues snaking through the park, the buzz of all the people, and the evening matches we could go and see when the first ticket holders left and their tickets were resold (for charity if I remember).

On TV they have been replaying the great Wimbledon matches, and I have managed to see a couple of them. After the initial shock that the retro hair and tennis gear look so different from today (how did McEnroe and Borg play in those hairbands with all that heavy hair?) – I have got quite absorbed in some matches.

Arthur Ashe vs Jimmy Connors was a match I was delighted to see. Arthur Ashe was a favourite of mine years ago. He was someone who had suffered through prejudice, but remained a person of great integrity who was gracious, and had a gentle but towering personality. His early death was a tragedy.

Philip was amused during the match when I took it very hard that Arthur Ashe lost the advantage of a service break against Jimmy Connors. He said ‘But you know what happens – he did win in the end’! Yes – but I was alongside him every step of the difficulties of getting to the triumph in spite of the setbacks – and I relived the lows as well as the highs! You get caught up in the atmosphere!

In the same way, reading familiar Bible stories, you know what happens, but you are transported into the atmosphere. No matter how many times you read the gospels and about the crucifixion and the resurrection, they still capture your feelings as you read them afresh.

We are hopefully going to be together in church again on 26 July – as many as are able to come and are not shielding. It will be a long time since we have gathered together to hear and think about the word of God. It will be different in many ways to the way it was – but still thrilling and exciting with possibilities opening up to us. Next week we hope to tell you about the return to church on 26 July and how it will be for a while worshipping in the world of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Best wishes,

Rosemary


Next message: Sunday 19 July


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