Holy Trinity Church, Bramley

From the Vicar, the Rev'd Vicki Burrows

The Vicarage, 1 Birtley Rise, Bramley GU5 0HZ    Tel 01483 892109   vicki.burrows@me.com


Dear Friends,

Worth dying for? 

Last Friday I visited mother, as I do each week on my day off.  Carol has lived with Alzheimers Disease for nearly 20 years. She is bed-bound, doubly incontinent, and unable to speak or feed herself.  It is impossible to know if she recognises me or whether she has the capacity to know or remember that I have visited. I try not to wonder about her quality of life as we watch her decline. Two years ago when she could walk she fell, knocking out her front teeth, and ended up in hospital suffering from sepsis. She was blissfully unaware, as doctors worked to save her life, and returned home to spend her remaining days in bed in a world of her own.  I do not know if she can mourn her losses, although I know that I mourn losing the mother I once knew and loved.  Now I can only love what is left of her; a frail old lady dependent on caregivers, whose faint smile or grimace or mumble reminds me of all those once upon a times. 

Matters of life and death concern each one of us whether or not we believe in God. No wonder debates continue to rage about assisted dying, end of life care and the sanctity of life.  Whilst I would not hesitate to relieve my dog from suffering I still struggle to believe that a human life should be ended because some say it is intolerable. The decline of my mother has taught me many things, not least that capacity to love and care for the weakest in society, for which I will be forever grateful. Today I have huge admiration for that huge army of carers who nurse our loved ones, valuing them and caring for them  as if they were their own. As Christians travel through Lent into Holy Week we turn to face a symbol of suffering, the cross. On Palm Sunday, like the crowds who cheered as Jesus arrived in Jerusalem for the final days of his life, we face our own treachery and little betrayals. On Maundy Thursday, as we remember Jesus washing the feet of his friends, we are encouraged to serve others and give thanks for those who perform the dirty work for us. When we hear the haunting cry of Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me,” we may feel able to name this sense of loss for ourselves or those whom we love. Personally, I am always haunted by the suffering Jesus’ words from the cross to his mother and his closest friend,“Mother here is your son, son here is your mother”. As his life is taken from him he asks his loved ones  to care for one another when he is gone.

If we can believe that God was with us in  the vulnerable babe in the manger, then we must conclude that he also hung on the cross, enduring the deepest pain imaginable. That still leaves unanswered questions:  Did he die for me? Am I worth dying for? The Christian answer to those questions is an emphatic YES, for in his living and in his dying he invites us to see others, however small or weak or unlovely, as God’s beloved. 

I hope you will join us this month as we explore the meaning of the cross. Please come and ask the question we are asking in our churches….was God really in Christ living and dying for each one of us?

Yours in Christ,                         


The Rev’d Vicki Burrows Vicar of The United Benefice of Bramley and Grafham                                     The Vicarage, 1 Birtley Rise, Bramley GU5 0HZ Tel 01483 892109   vicki.burrows@me.com 


FRIDAY is Vicki's day off, and she would be very grateful if we respect that, and only contact her       on Fridays in a case of genuine emergency. 

If there is an emergency she can be contacted, day or night, on 07515965781