Easter greetings from North Yorkshire

  Hello again from North Yorkshire. Where has the time gone since Christmas? I do get news of happenings in the Woodfield Team from time to time so know some of your life still.

  Now we are in Holy Week and Easter Day approaches. Though it’s raining as I write this, it’s been a beautiful spring and I love seeing the new green bursting into life. Here’s a small sample of what spring has looked like in my garden.



  I am getting used to the retired life but I wouldn’t say I am fully adapted as yet. I have been retired 6 months now but am not ready as yet to apply for Permission To Officiate. In other words I’m not ready to be functioning as clergy. I don’t yet have enough energy or desire to do so. I am still waiting on God as to what he has in mind for me for the next phase of my life. I have been going to the local church, Holy Trinity, since I came here. What goes on is not dissimilar to the churches of the Woodfield Team, and I enjoy the sermons we get from the local Rector. It is becoming easier to get to know a few people there now that masks aren’t the order of the day and we can see faces.

  I have joined 2 groups: a book reading group and a creative writing group. Both meet in the library and are monthly. I am still the newbie and feeling my way. Two of the creative writing group members have published books already so I have beginner status there without a doubt.

  For 7 weeks, I was fostering another dog with a view to adopting. I had visited her for about 6 weeks prior to that at the rescue kennels. She was a delightful companion around the house and would let me handle her however I wanted. However she remained highly nervous and suspicious of other people and the outside world. As a result she started to snap, snarl and, I’m afraid, one bite. That meant she had to go back as I couldn’t have a dog that couldn’t be trusted. I felt a real rat as she had grown to trust me and I have a memory of her looking out from her kennel as I left her. I’m not sure I will try for another dog but leave it altogether.

  I have found Lent very different this year. I missed leading the Lent groups but on top of that, I’m sure we all found it a different and difficult time this year with the war in Ukraine playing out live on our TV screens. As well as the wider world situation economically as a result of sanctions, and war continuing in the Yemen and Ethiopia, plus the horrors of life in Afghanistan. I found myself asking how to pray in the face of all this and having to learn more of intercessory prayer. At the same time, there has been that sense of powerlessness to do anything. However powerlessness does open us up to dependence on God – if we give it a go. There is a Taize song that goes something like this:

  “Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us, let not my doubt nor my darkness speak to me. Your light shines

  within us, let my heart always welcome your love, Lord Jesus Christ.”

  Now Holy Week, Easter Day and my favourite season Spring itself remind me that resurrection will come, even if not to my timing. We are called to worship and pray, to be a presence as Jesus’ community where we are placed and to love and serve our neighbour where we are as best we can. It may be we have to let things die and new things grow but the power of God’s love will prevail. We see that truth in Jesus on the cross going all the way for love’s sake.

  I am just starting to tackle the garden which has had little attention for 2-3 years. Couch grass needs digging out and is the biggest challenge. I had 2 men in to help this week and that has given me a good start and enthused me again. Having a cousin who is into horticulture, I send her pictures of plants, and get the name. Mr Google then tells me what to do with said plant. The garden will be a project over several years and I am deciding what plants to buy in. Do you have suggestions for this border? It’s the one along the fence. Nothing has been grown in it for ages but I’d like to improve the look of it.


It’s a north facing border so doesn’t get that much sun and it’s not a fence that belongs to me so I can’t put trellis on it. I’m thinking of shrubs that will bring some colour all year but not need too much attention. Do contact me if you have suggestions as I am very much the learner in all this.

  May Easter be a time of blessing and I pray you learn yet more of the Lord Jesus, and the hope that he offers us when so much can bring us to despair.


Vivien Elphick


April 2022




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